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JACKSONVILLE, FL, October 02, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Professional Development Resources has announced a new addition to its continuing education (CE) curriculum for health professionals: Alzheimer's Disease Progress Report: Intensifying the Research Effort. The course is based on a recent publication from the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
According to NIA (http://1.usa.gov/15zVr5u), Alzheimer's disease is "an age-related brain disorder that gradually destroys a person's ability to remember, think, learn, and carry out even the simplest of tasks. Alzheimer's is a type of dementia, a broad term for diseases and conditions that damage brain cells and, over time, impair brain function. Alzheimer's causes once-healthy brain cells, or neurons, to lose their ability to function and communicate with each other. Eventually, they die.
What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?
In some rare cases, people develop Alzheimer's in their late 30s, 40s, or 50s. This form of the disease, called "early-onset dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease," always runs in families and is caused by a mutation in one of the genes that a person has inherited from a parent. However, most (more than 90 percent) of Alzheimer's cases occur in people age 60 and older. The causes of late-onset Alzheimer's are not yet known, but they are believed to include a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
How is Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosed?
There are a number of tools currently used for diagnosing probable Alzheimer's disease. They include a medical history, a physical exam, and tests--preferably over time--that measure memory, language skills, and other abilities related to brain functioning. Information provided by family members or other caregivers about changes in a person's day-to-day function and behavior also help in diagnosis. However, the most definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's is made after death, by examining brain tissue for plaques and tangles.
The Costs of Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's disease comes with enormous personal and societal costs. Family, friends, and caregivers of people with Alzheimer's experience emotional, physical, and financial stress as loved ones become increasingly forgetful, frustrated, confused, and lost during the course of the disease. Families struggle to provide care at home but often face difficult decisions about daily, short-term, and long-term care. Frequently, people with Alzheimer's disease make multiple transitions between home, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals as their families seek appropriate care and support.
There is a Looming Public Health Crisis
Research studies estimate that 2.4 million to 5.1 million people in the United States may have Alzheimer's disease. But that is not the whole story. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the 65-and-older population will double to about 72 million during the next 20 years. This population aging is accompanied by a sobering reality: The number of people with Alzheimer's doubles for every 5-year interval past age 65, studies show. And the ranks of the very elderly--those 85 years and older and at the highest risk for Alzheimer's--are expected to triple by 2050.
"Unless more effective interventions are developed, the number of people living with the disease could escalate significantly, along with the need to support them and their caregivers," according to the NIA. "That is why researchers and clinicians are devoting their time and talent to developing the interventions needed to help people with Alzheimer's, those at risk for the disease, and the many caregivers on the frontlines of support."
A New National Effort
In recognition of the increasing urgency to find ways to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, there is a new intensified energy and focus on research efforts and support for people with dementia and their caregivers. On May 15, 2012, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius unveiled the first National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. The five goals of the Plan are to:
1. Prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025
2. Enhance care quality and efficiency
3. Expand supports for people with Alzheimer's disease and their families
4. Enhance public awareness and engagement
5. Improve data to track progress
Alzheimer's Disease Progress Report: Intensifying the Research Effort includes sections on the urgency of efforts to find ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer's, key biological processes disrupted by the disease, brain neurodegeneration factors identified by recent neuroimaging studies, and a look at the phases of clinical trials used for testing therapies to treat, delay, or prevent Alzheimer's disease.
About Professional Development Resources, Inc.
Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1992 by licensed marriage and family therapist Leo Christie, PhD. The company, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) - as well as many other national and state boards - has focused its efforts on making accredited continuing education units more cost-effective and widely accessible to health professionals by offering online home study coursework. Its current expanded curriculum includes a wide variety of clinical topics intended to equip health professionals to offer state-of-the art services to their clients.
Leo Christie, PhD, CEO
Professional Development Resources, Inc.
Professional Development Resources, Inc. is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our mission is to provide busy health care professionals with accredited continuing education units on topics that are vital to contemporary clinical practice. In addition to our staff, we have a Professional Advisory Board consisting of accomplished professionals representing disciplines for which we offer our CEU credits. We are located in Jacksonville, Florida. Federal Tax ID 59-3138625.
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