A draft released February 22 shows the progress the U.S. is making on a national plan to combat Alzheimer's disease, The Associated Press reports. The draft, which outlines the national strategy, comes more than a year after President Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act.
The ultimate goal of the project is to find effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease by 2025, but this first draft focuses largely on education and awareness of the disease, as well as support and training for those who provide Alzheimer's care to seniors.
The focus on caregiving is important. According to the Alzheimer's Association, about 14.9 million people provided a total of 17 billion hours of unpaid care to loved ones with this cognitive disease, which currently affects more than five million Americans.
In addition, the draft details the nation's plan to educate doctors and health professionals about how to recognize the cognitive disease and what medications or social services can help, the news outlet reports. Improving early detection was also detailed in the draft.