Public Alzheimer's Discussion

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

A great online forum for discussing Alzheimer's disease was conducted today through Twitter. Mayo Clinic's lead expert in the area, Dr. Ronald Petersen, joined the National Alzheimer's Association and USA Today in responding to questions from the public.

Given yesterday's release of the National Alzheimer's Associations report (2010 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures) about the disease, I had expected many questions about specific prevalence statistics, differences across minority groups, and rising cots of managing the disease. Instead, the questions tended toward the more personal and more locally relevant.

While the national discussion about Alzheimer's and Dementia is becoming louder and more intense, it is generally based on aggregated data that have been evaluated from afar in a scientific and impersonal manner. I found today's dialogue, which you may review here, to be refreshingly intimate.

I am hopeful that such discussions will flourish and that such public access to the central players in this field will catalyze a growing base of activism. Great job by the Mayo Clinic, the National Alzheimer's Association, and the USA Today.

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