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Landmark Research Summit Breaks New Ground

By Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
October 26, 2017

The pursuit of a treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is a top priority for researchers in the U.S. As a society, we have overcome other major challenges by creatively applying our resources in a sustained manner, and we’ll do so in this case thanks to our collective ingenuity.

This same passion for innovation was on display last week at the landmark National Research Summit on Care, Services and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers. The research and practice insights presented show that we are up to the challenge of ensuring the millions of individuals living with dementia and their caregivers receive the care, services and supports needed to navigate this disease.

Congratulations to the many speakers, federal agencies, and assembled stakeholders who are working together to advance this work! And a special “shout out” to GSA members (and distinguished GSA award recipients) Laura Gitlin and Katie Maslow, who served as co-chairs for this tour de force of what we know, and what we still seek to understand, about these myriad complex issues.

While the scholarship was extraordinary, the several caregivers and persons living with dementia who addressed the audience touched me most viscerally. Their courage in facing these challenges in their own lives provided inspiration to us all and reminded us of the importance of investing more time, resources, and creative energy into improving existing support systems until a cure is discovered.

Recommendations from the summit will be published on the website of the National Alzheimer’s Plan Act (NAPA) and the summit website. An archive of the video cast of the summit and the presentations are also available on the summit website. A short report on the summit will be provided at the October 27 meeting of the NAPA Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, which can be viewed live at www.hhs.gov/live.

 

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