Texas State Plan on Alzheimer's Disease
The Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, and the Alzheimer’s Associations in Texas attended the State Plan Town Hall/Public Input meeting on April 23, 2010, at the Department of State Health Services in Austin, Texas. The meeting provided an opportunity to review the plan, make comments, and hear from a panel of Texas research and medical experts on Alzheimer’s disease.
Every 69 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease. There are now more than 5.4 million Americans and 340,000 Texans living with Alzheimer’s disease. This figure includes 5.2 million Americans 65 and older and approximately 200,000 under age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the 5th leading cause of death for those over age 65. At least 14 million American baby-boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, will develop Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder in their lifetime; doubling the number of Americans with the disease today. By mid-century the rate of disease prevalence will increase to one new case of Alzheimer’s disease every 33 seconds or 2,618 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease every day or 955,636 new cases every year.
The looming impact of Alzheimer’s disease presents many challenges that cannot be dismissed or ignored:
- Clinicians are challenged to treat individuals with Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stages possible to delay its progression, while also helping persons remain independent for longer periods of time;
- Researchers are challenged to work towards Alzheimer’s disease prevention and cure, while also finding ways to delay the onset of symptoms until later in the life span;
- Caregivers are challenged to provide appropriate care and support to family members living with Alzheimer’s disease, while also finding ways to manage competing financial, physical, and emotional needs;
- Prevention is challenged to replace the widely held belief that declines in brain health and cognitive function are a normal part of aging; when in fact such declines may be delayed and may be prevented with early detection and treatment;
- Infrastructure is challenged to meet the societal and economic impact of Alzheimer’s disease, while also providing optimal, coordinated care and support systems for individuals affected by this disease.
The 2010-2015 Texas State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease was developed in direct response to the growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. Integral to the success of plan implementation are high levels of commitment and collaboration by all stake-holders across the state. Ongoing coordination, information and resource sharing, partnership development, and capacity building are essential for creating a sustained and resourced state-wide system to promote and advance the recommendations of this plan.
After hearing speakers describe objectives and strategies to meet the challenges, the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders adopted the plan. “Now the real work begins,” said Debbie Hanna, chair, Texas Council of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. “We must now work together to implement the plan.”
|Impact in Texas|
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- Texas Department of State Health Services: Alzheimer's Disease Program
- Texas Alzheimer's Research Consortium
- View the Draft State Plan (large PDF document)
- Texas Council on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders