New Analysis Released About the Disproportionate Impact of Alzheimer’s on Veterans


New Analysis Released About the Disproportionate Impact of Alzheimer’s on Veterans

Press Conference Call, Monday, October 2 at 2:00pm ET

WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, October 2, 2017, leaders in the fight against Alzheimer’s and representatives of the veterans’ community will hold a conference call with press to release a new report, Veterans and Alzheimer’s: Meeting the Crisis Head On, that shows that many veterans face unique risk factors for Alzheimer’s as a direct result of their military service. This creates a clear and compelling obligation for greater support to meet the needs of veterans with Alzheimer’s.

To answer this charge, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is launching VeteransAgainstAlzheimer’s, a national network of veterans and their families, military leaders, veterans service organizations, researchers, and clinicians focused on raising awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s and other dementias on active and retired service members.


  • George Vradenburg, Co-Founder and Chairman, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s
  • Shawn Taylor, Founder and President, VeteransAgainstAlzheimer’s
  • Ryan Gallucci, Director, National Veterans Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • David X. Cifu, MD, Associate Dean for Innovation and System Integration; Professor and Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine; Senior TBI Specialist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Principal Investigator, VA/DoD Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium
  • Karen Garner, Caregiver, Author, Missing Jim: Confessions of an Alzheimer's Wife
  • Moderator: Virginia Biggar, Director, Patient & Caregiver, Faith and Veterans Initiatives, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s

WHEN:    Monday, October 2, 2017 at 2:00pm ET

WHERE:  Click here to participate in the press conference by streaming the audio and to ask a question, or call 877-229-8493 (PIN:    111049)

As outlined in the new report, age is the top known risk factor for Alzheimer’s, and that risk increases greatly after age 65. Nearly 50 percent of veterans are age 65 or older and are therefore at heightened risk for Alzheimer’s, compared to just 15 percent of the general population. Furthermore, studies show that older veterans who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are 60 percent more likely to develop dementia. Twenty-two percent of all combat wounds in Afghanistan and Iraq were brain injuries, nearly double the rate seen during Vietnam – increasing these younger veterans’ lifetime Alzheimer’s risk.

Veterans face barriers to effective Alzheimer’s diagnosis and care, including a complex Veteran’s Administration health system, a lack of understanding about available benefits, and a stigma related to brain and mental health.

The full report, Veterans and Alzheimer’s: Meeting the Crisis Head On, which was developed by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, is available here.

The official launch of the VeteransAgainstAlzheimer’s Network will occur at a Congressional Reception on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 5:15–7:00pm in room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Speakers include Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Ryan Gallucci, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Media interested in attending should contact Jeannette O’Connor at 202-302-3268 or

The reception is part of a two-day annual National Alzheimer’s Summit convened by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. 

Jeannette O’Connor


UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) is an innovative non-profit organization demanding – and delivering – a solution to Alzheimer’s. Driven by the suffering of millions of families, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure – accomplishing this through effective leadership, collaborative advocacy, and strategic investments. 

Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 and help secure nearly $500 million in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past few years; (2) drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations, the G7, to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration; and (3) forge industry commitments to improve efficiencies for an expedited drug discovery and approval process. More information can be found at: 


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