Earlier Intervention Against AD Could Preserve Health and save Billions in Costs

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

One of the most respected researchers in the Alzheimer's field, Mark Sager at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, has published his group's latest findings in Alzheimer's and Dementia. They concluded that the costs of not screening for Alzheimer's and not providing caregiver support costs the nation billions of dollars in avoidable public health care expenditures.

This is not surprising given the well documented correlation between progression of AD symptoms and rising costs of care. The importance of this publication lies in the fact that it is another solid piece of research arguing for a more proactive approach to battling AD.

Buried in this study is another important finding that debunks the argument against screening for memory loss. While some have speculated that seeking signs of memory loss among the presumed healthy stirs up unnecessary angst about the specter of Alzheimer's disease. Angst they characterize as "not constructive" given that no cure for AD is at hand.

Contrarily, this study showed that many people diagnosed with AD were relieved. This finding is consistent with several smaller studies that have shown the same result. The take away is this: if our ability to manage the disease is improved through early diagnosis and the people who undergo memory assessment are happier to have done so, then the benefits of a proactive, early-intervention program are amplified.

If we can continue to tear down the argument against earlier intervention while demonstrating the health and economic benefits of doing so, we will be much more effective in managing this disease, even before a cure is found.

A better understanding and more awareness of Alzheimer's related issues can impact personal health decisions and generate significant impact across a population of aging individuals. Please use the share button below to spread this educational message as widely as possible.

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