UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Calls for Increased Engagement with Healthcare Providers on Cognition and Aging Amidst Troubling ADI Report Results
Believes U.S. Can Lead the Way on Global Provider Education
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 27, 2019) – UsAgainstAlzheimer’s issued the following statement from Kelly O'Brien, executive director of its Brain Health Partnership, on Alzheimer’s Disease International’s (ADI) 2019 World Alzheimer’s Report, which found that a surprising 62 percent of healthcare providers worldwide think that dementia is a part of normal aging. The work of the Brain Health Partnership is focused on creating an optimal system of brain health care for consumers, providers, and payers via preventive, risk-modifying lifestyle changes and cognitive screening supported by the latest science. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has already issued a call for an annual brain health check-up.
“It is both regrettable and shocking that more than six in 10 medical providers still believe the scientific falsehood that dementia is part of normal aging. The recent finding by ADI should be extremely concerning to anyone around the world whose life has been touched by Alzheimer’s disease. This viewpoint should not be held by any medical professional practicing in any country, and this troubling statistic means we still have a long road ahead in global education on the importance of prevention and cognitive screening.
“Age remains the No. 1 risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, but it is important to know that as recently as May of this year, the World Health Organization issued a report stating clearly that ‘dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging.’ The WHO recommended ways to proactively reduce overall risk of developing dementia, including exercise, eating well, managing chronic health conditions, and staying socially engaged.
“Cognitive screening, especially for those over 65, is acknowledged directly in ADI’s report as a tool to promote better disease management and help reduce burdens on individuals, families, and the global healthcare system.
“This alarming and inaccurate conventional wisdom by many the world’s healthcare providers must be reversed through continued education on cognition and aging. The United States is best positioned to lead the way here. Dementia is not an inevitability of old age, and preventive, risk-modifying lifestyle changes together with early cognitive screening and assessment can, if taken early on, help to slow, delay, or possibly even prevent cognitive decline.”