NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - March 10, 2014) - The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing optimal care and services to people with dementia and their families, today issued the following statement in response to a newly published study in "Nature Medicine," regarding a blood test that could predict whether a healthy person will develop Alzheimer's disease. Said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA's chief executive officer:
"We're excited about the prospect that this blood test offers. While much more extensive research is needed -- in particular given the fact that the study focused only on individuals 70 years of age and older -- this study offers a glimmer of hope for the future.
"If the study is validated, early intervention and treatment -- two tactics for which AFA has advocated through its annual National Memory Screening Day initiative -- could become more of the norm. Early detection could afford people who will develop the brain disorder an opportunity to, for example, participate in a clinical trial or to follow a drug treatment protocol that may help slow the progression of symptoms. It could also yield individuals with Alzheimer's disease an opportunity to have 'kitchen table' conversations about legal and financial planning, healthcare proxies and other related issues, and help ensure that their end-of-life wishes are honored.
"The preliminary findings of this study underscore the dire need for increased funding for Alzheimer's disease research. There are breakthroughs, like this, on the horizon, and we need to ensure that those working so hard to develop them have the financial resources they need to bring them to fruition."
Fuschillo recently called on Congress to appropriate $500 million in additional funding for Alzheimer's disease research and caregiver supports in the FY15 budget.
About Alzheimer's Foundation of America: The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national non-profit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, staffed by licensed social workers; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training, along with teen- and college student-specific divisions. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, and "like" us on Facebook.