New Report to be Released Showing Demographic Shifts Weakening America’s Capacity to Respond to the Mounting Alzheimer’s Crisis


New Report to be Released Showing Demographic Shifts Weakening America’s Capacity to Respond to the Mounting Alzheimer’s Crisis 

Launch of a New Initiative to Tackle the Disproportionate Impact of the Disease on America’s Veterans

National Summit Features, among others, Senators Blunt and Stabenow, Sally Quinn, Kim Campbell, and Lauren Miller Rogen; Summit to be Live Streamed


Washington, DC (October 2, 2017) – On October 3 to 5, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s will host its annual National Alzheimer’s Summit: Uniting Communities for a Cure. The three-day summit, held in Washington, DC, will convene members of Congress, researchers, global industry leaders, individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, caregivers, and advocates to press for greater investments in research, health system improvements, and actions to address Alzheimer’s impact on communities of color. 

“The scale, cost, and impact of Alzheimer’s make it one of this century’s greatest health, economic, and social challenges,” said George Vradenburg, Co-Founder and Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “Over 150 million people are estimated to be experiencing this disease globally, as victims or caregivers, at an annual cost of well over one percent of global economic output. And those numbers are rising. Yet, to date, we have not seen the level of national or global urgency that should accompany a health crisis of this magnitude. We’re convening this summit because accelerating movement toward an Alzheimer’s cure is not an option, it’s an immediate necessity.”

The National Alzheimer’s Summit embodies UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) unique 21st century networked advocacy model, uniting philanthropists, scientists and researchers, industry, communities of color, women, veterans and others to power a bipartisan action-oriented movement to spur the medical progress needed to defeat Alzheimer’s by the U.S. national goal of 2025. Click here to live stream the Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

New Research Shows Society’s Capacity to Deal with Alzheimer’s is Greatly Diminished

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s will release a new report, Hiding in Plain Sight: Social and Demographic Trends That Will Exacerbate the Impact of Alzheimer’s, that shows that the U.S. has vastly underestimated the public costs and consequences of the Alzheimer’s epidemic. A disturbing number of major social trends in America have direct and adverse implications for our capacity to cope with the Alzheimer’s epidemic in the years ahead, including:

  • Key demographic changes, including the aging of America, provides further evidence of the need to speed up and invest heavily in the race to a cure;
  • The decline in two-parent households, leading to fewer people in the workforce, diminished financial resources, and a greater burden on the public sector; 
  • The burden of declining family structures and rising single parent households, which falls disproportionately on women and people of color – primarily African Americans and Latinos – putting these populations, which are 2 and 1.5 times, respectively, more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than their white counterparts, at greater risk for financial hardship; and 
  • The alarming trend of an increasing number of seniors living alone with fewer relatives, creating significant implications for the rise in Medicaid spending for Alzheimer's patients. 

The paper will be presented by its author, Nicholas Eberstadt, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who writes extensively about demographics and economic development. “Only a clear commitment to finding a cure or disease altering treatment for this horrendous disease will change this trajectory of financial devastation,” writes Eberstadt. The full paper is available here.

New Report Shows Disproportionate Impact of Alzheimer’s on Veterans

A second UsA2 report, Veterans and Alzheimer’s: Meeting the Crisis Head On, to be released on Monday, shows that veterans face unique risk factors for Alzheimer’s as a direct result of their military service, including post-traumatic stress, depression, traumatic brain injury, and blast-induced neurotrauma. This creates a clear and compelling obligation for greater research and care support to meet the needs of veterans with Alzheimer’s. 

To answer this charge, UsA2 is launching VeteransAgainstAlzheimer’s (VA2), 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.

“The VFW knows that this is a major issue for veterans – especially when data indicates that the risks associated with military service make veterans more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,” said Bob Wallace, Executive Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. “Through VeteransAgainstAlzheimers, we have the opportunity to bring together leading voices in the veteran community to promote brain health through action, research, and improved care.”

As outlined in the report, age is the number one known risk factor for Alzheimer’s, and that risk increases greatly after age 65. Nearly 50 percent of veterans are age 65 or older are at risk for Alzheimer’s, compared to just 15 percent of the general population. Furthermore, 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 is available here.


Second Annual Alzheimer’s Disparities Symposium: Diversifying the Race for a Cure and Care
Tuesday, October 3,
9:00am4:00pm, Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC

The Symposium will increase awareness, understanding, and action related to Alzheimer’s disease among communities of color. It brings together disparities-focused health, policy, and minority community stakeholders with caregivers, researchers, and industry leaders to address the growing impact of Alzheimer’s on communities of color. Attendees will develop brain health promotion strategies, catalyze research collaborations, and advance patient and community-centered solutions to our nation’s Alzheimer’s crisis. 

National Alzheimer’s Summit Congressional Reception
Tuesday, October 3, 5:15 –
7:00pm, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106
Highlights include:

  • Official launch of the VeteransAgainstAlzheimer’s Network and release of a white paper about the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer’s on veterans
  • Remarks by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Ryan Gallucci, Veterans of Foreign Wars, among others

Fourth Annual National Alzheimer’s Summit
Wednesday, October 4, 8:15am4:00pm, Ronald Reagan Building, WDC
Highlights include:

  • Release of new research showing that society’s capacity to deal with Alzheimer’s is greatly diminished 
  • Keynote by Bill Novelli, Professor and Founder, Global Social Enterprise Initiative
  • Insights from industry (including Biogen and Lilly), academia, government (FDA and NIA), and researchers on progress being made in drug development, and updates on promising drugs and innovations 
  • An announcement of UsA2’s new Brain Health Initiative, created to fundamentally change the way people perceive Alzheimer’s and dementia. The Initiative is chaired by Former First Lady Laura Bush.

The full agenda, including a list of speakers, is available here. Summit participants and attendees represent more than 25 states across the country. 

The Trish Vradenburg Out of the Shadows Dinner
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 6:30 –
9:30pm, Ballroom, Ronald Reagan Building
Hundreds of guests will gather for a moving and inspirational night focused on bringing Alzheimer’s ‘out of the shadows’ and honoring Trish Vradenburg, the powerful co-founder of UsA2, who changed the course of the fight against Alzheimer’s through her relentless advocacy and humor.

Highlights include:

  • Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will receive Congressional Champion Awards in recognition of their efforts to fight Alzheimer’s disease
  • Daisy Duarte, a caregiver to her mother and Alzheimer’s clinical trial volunteer, will receive the 2017 Bea Lerner Valor Award
  • A conversation moderated by Sally Quinn, Columnist, The Washington Post with Dr. Goldie Byrd, Director, Center for Outreach in Alzheimer's Aging and Community Health, North Carolina A&T State University; Kim Campbell, Founder, wife of Glen Campbell; Lauren Miller Rogen, Founder, Hilarity for Charity; Phyllis Ferrell, Vice President of the global late-stage Alzheimer’s therapeutic and diagnostic team, Eli Lilly and Company; and Dr Reisa Sperling, Director, Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Media interested in attending the dinner or receiving photos afterward should contact Jeannette O’Connor at 202-302-3268 or

Congressional Alzheimer’s Briefing Day
Thursday, October 5, 2017, Capitol Hill

Activists from across the country will storm Capitol Hill, meeting with members of the U.S. Senate and House to insist that progress against the disease, on behalf of patients and caregivers, be given greater priority on the federal health care agenda. Members of Congress, including Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK), will attend a kick-off Congressional Breakfast at 8:30am in Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2044.

“Understanding Alzheimer’s disease has been a long journey, and one that we have been committed to for nearly 30 years,” said Phyllis Ferrell, Vice President Alzheimer’s disease platform, Eli Lilly and Company. “We’re thankful for, and inspired by, the relentless commitment of the scientists, researchers and doctors around the world who are dedicated to discovering the next potential scientific breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research. And to the families and caregivers who are desperately waiting, we will not give up.”

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is grateful to the Summit sponsors, including lead sponsors Axovant Sciences, Inc., Biogen, Connected Living, EJF Philanthropies, Eli Lilly & Company, Eisai, Home Instead Senior Care, The Home Depot, Janssen, Merck & Co., and Volunteers of America. The Second Annual Alzheimer’s Disparities Symposium was partially funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award (4192-USAA).


UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) is an innovative networked, patient-led 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:


Media Contact:

Ranit Schmelzer