SOURCE: Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

November 02, 2015 11:40 ET

Alzheimer's Foundation Kicks Off Alzheimer's Awareness Month With National Memory Screening Week

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - November 02, 2015) - According to a recent study conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), about nine in 10 adults ages 40+ (91 percent) say without their memory, they wouldn't be themselves. Yet, more than one in two (56 percent) say they have other health concerns more pressing than getting a memory screening.[1] Memory health is, indeed, an important part of overall health, so this year, to kick off Alzheimer's Awareness Month, AFA if sponsoring National Memory Screening Week, November 1-7 at hundreds of sites across the country.

"A memory screening is much like other routine health screenings and we encourage people to take advantage of our free screenings during National Memory Screening Week and throughout the year," said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. "Early detection of memory problems can help put a person on the path to proper treatment."

Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health and caregiving. The face-to-face screenings consist of a series of questions and tasks, and last approximately 10 minutes.

Memory screenings are an important part of successful aging and are gaining in popularity. Last year alone, AFA screened more than 250,000 people through its National Memory Screening Program. Further, a recent study[2] suggests that screenings may detect cognitive impairment up to 18 years prior to clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; who believe they are at risk due to a family history of dementia; or who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons. Warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include forgetting people's names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion and personality changes.

Screeners emphasize that results are not a diagnosis, and encourage individuals who score below the normal threshold, as well as those who still have concerns, to see a physician for a thorough evaluation.

Currently, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease and that number is expected to nearly triple by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

For more information about the National Memory Screening Program, call (toll-free) 866-232-8484 or visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.

Biogen Pharmaceuticals is a silver sponsor of National Memory Screening Week.

[1] Source: September 2015 online survey of 1,012 US adults age 40 and older conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Alzheimer's Foundation of America.

[2] http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2015/06/24/WNL.0000000000001774.abstract

About the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA):

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 2,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a national, toll-free helpline staffed by licensed social workers, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlzheimersFoundationofAmerica.

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