Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Alzheimer's to Increase 19% in Oklahoma by 2010

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Alzheimer's to Increase 19% in Oklahoma by 2010

Article excerpt

In 2000, 62,000 Oklahomans age 65 and older had Alzheimer's disease.

By 2010, 74,000 Oklahomans age 65 and older are projected to have Alzheimer's disease, a 19-percent increase over 10 years, greatly expanding demand for services and facilities.

Aging baby boomers are the main reason for the projected increase, said Tonda Ames, vice president of marketing for the Alzheimer's Association's Oklahoma and Arkansas chapter, which is based in Tulsa with an office in Oklahoma City. The nation's 78 million baby boomers began turning 60 last year.

The projections for Oklahoma were included in a national report - Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures - released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association.

An estimated 5 million people nationwide are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, including 200,000 to 500,000 people under age 65 with early onset Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, according to the report.

"Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures clearly shows the tremendous impact this disease is having on Oklahoma and nationwide," said Judi VerHoef, president and CEO of the Oklahoma and Arkansas chapter.

"As the economic and human impact of this disease continues to loom over Oklahoma, it is more imperative than ever that research funding is increased in order to find a cure and treatments to delay the progression of this disease," VerHoef said.

The Oklahoma and Arkansas chapter, which is a nonprofit organization, is working with the national group to prepare for the anticipated additional demand for services and facilities by Alzheimer's patients.

Ames has been serving on an early detection work group with the national Alzheimer's Association.

"We are trying to see if there is a standardized test to say 'yes, you have Alzheimer's disease,'" she said.

The early detection work group has completed phase one of their mission and made recommendations to the national organization. …

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