Alzheimer's group wants national dementia-screening initiative

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Alzheimer's group wants national dementia-screening initiative
Alzheimer's group wants national dementia-screening initiative
A prominent Alzheimer's advocacy group is urging Congress to implement a national dementia-screening program. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America says study results it released Tuesday make a clear case for screening.

The incidence of dementia doubles every five years between ages 65 and 95, AFA says in its report "Memory Matters." The group also cites a 2006 editorial in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, which estimated that missed diagnoses are greater than 25% of the dementia cases and could be as high as 90%. AFA also expressed concerns over a lack of a federal governing policy on Alzheimer's and dementia screening.

The cost of yearly screening for individuals age 75 or older can be easily justified, according to the AFA -- and improved screening methods could merit recommending those as young as 55 receive annual dementia screening, it says. Among the AFA's many recommendations to Congress is the development of a panel of healthcare experts and policy makers to guide implementation of a new screening initiative.

To view the AFA's full report, go to www.alzfdn.org/documents/memorymatters.pdf.
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