National Dementia Week this week sparks conversation about memory loss and the impact this is having on America's seniors. The longer you live, the greater your chances for developing some form of memory loss. The two go together. But now a new survey by Eli Lilly and Company, released today, shows that not everyone who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease actually has this form of memory loss.
Eli Lilly did the survey as a way to help promote their imaging agent, called Amyvid, and to receive Medicare approval for reimbursement of this new product. Amyvid received U.S. market approval last year and would assist in identifying the deposits of a protein called amyloid which is one of two telltale signs of Alzheimer's disease. The imaging test is called PET, or positron emission tomography.
Performing an autopsy has been the only way to 100% for sure identify these plaques. The thinking is that by properly diagnosing all Alzheimer's patients, Medicare may actually save money by properly treating everyone for the right type of memory loss. Estimates are that 7.1 million people will have Alzheimer's disease by 2025.
Someday, there could also be the possibility for everyone to be tested for Alzheimer's disease at a certain age. The Harvard School of Public Health found that two-thirds of adults would take a predictive Alzheimer's test.
With Angelina Jolie's New York Time's editorial last week, about her decision to proactively choose to have a double mastectomy because of testing positive for the BRCA1 mutation, being able to identify Alzheimer's disease accurately could lead to more preventive treatments.
Senior caregivers working with senior's with memory loss must have special training to understand all of the dynamics of the disease. One of the biggest challenges of Alzheimer's disease is that it progresses at a different rate in each person. However, because of the growth in the number of individuals living longer with memory loss, the demand for caregivers continues as senior care companies hire part-time and full-time caregivers each day. Apply for a senior caregiving job near you or refer-a-friend and be entered to win prizes weekly on Caregiverlist.