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UPDATE: National Strategy Against Alzheimer's Adopted

UPDATED Tuesday, May 15, 2012 --- 11:26 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is declaring Alzheimer's one of the country's biggest health challenges.

It's adopting a national strategy that sets the clock ticking toward better treatments by 2025 -- while offering help for suffering families today.

A new website will provide families with information about dementia and where to get help in their own communities.

Announcing the first National Alzheimer's Plan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius aid "a lot more needs to be done and it needs to be done right now."

This summer, doctors and other health providers can start getting some free training on how to spot the early signs of Alzheimer's and the best ways to care for those patients.

Meanwhile, the National Institutes of health will spend an extra $50 million on Alzheimer's research this year. Among the new studies of possible therapies is a nasal spray that sends insulin straight to the brain. Some research has linked diabetes and Alzheimer's.

Already, 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's or related dementias. Without a research breakthrough, those numbers will jump by 2050, when up to 16 million Americans are expected to have Alzheimer's.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 --- 7:40 a.m.

LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is adopting a landmark national strategy to fight Alzheimer's disease, with an ambitious goal of finding some effective treatments by 2025.

For families suffering today, the first National Alzheimer's Plan offers some help too. Starting Tuesday, families can turn to a one-stop website, www.alzheimers.gov , for easy-to-understand information about where to get help. Doctors also will get a chance to receive training on how to better care for people with Alzheimer's.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called those first steps "the cornerstones" of a historic effort to fight Alzheimer's disease.

Already, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, a number that could more than double by 2050 as the population ages. Beyond the human toll, the disease is budget-busting for Medicare and Medicaid.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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