Alzheimer's experts to finalize Obama administration taskforce plan

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A panel of Alzheimer's experts is kicking off a two-day meeting in Washington today to formalize an Obama administration goal of developing effective ways to treat and prevent Alzheimer's by 2025.

Last week the Department of Health and Human Services released a draft of its first taskforce plan that detailed general goals for meeting the government's 2025 deadline. However, the report lacked specifics as to how the research required for such an effort would be funded. A final version of the report is due to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius by the first week of February.

"I think the potential impact of this plan is huge," Ron Petersen, chairman of the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA), non-federal advisory council, told USA Today. "Given the economic problems, it's a bit of a challenge, but this is our chance to make a bold statement."

The plan was the result of NAPA, which was signed by President Obama last January. Thirteen to 16 million Americans are expected to have Alzheimer's by 2050, costing $1 trillion in medical and nursing home expenditures, according to the Associated Press.
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