Alzheimer’s Disease Highlighted This Week on ABC News

This week, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer highlighted the challenges of caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, led by Maria Shriver, who interviewed with Sawyer about her findings released in August in “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s.” Shriver’s decision to take on this devastating disease was inspired by her own father’s struggle. Various ABC Newscasts also featured coverage of Alzheimer’s disease this week. Alzheimer's disease is laregely a women's issue.

“The Shriver Report” is based on a survey of more than 3,100 adults relating to the impact of and their experience with Alzheimer’s disease. Findings highlight the idea that Alzheimer’s disease is largely a women’s issue: Two-thirds of sufferers are women, and approximately 60% of caregivers to loved ones with the disease are also women. The total toll? 10 million women, or 6.4% of all women are in some way affected by the disease, according to an article on Time magazine’s Healthland blog.

Terry Moran, co-anchor of ABC News Nightline, wrote a headline story that talks about the financial and emotional toll the disease can take by chronicling the journey of several affected families, including his own mother’s struggle and susequent death from Alzheimer’s disease ten years ago.

Moran also covers the story of Jay Jones, one of 500,000 Americans currently living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. In Mr. Jone’s case, and in many others who are subject to cognitive decline at an early age, he wasn’t able to continue his employment, leading his wife to take on a part-time consulting position at just one-fifth of her husband’s previous salary. Mr. Jones is just 53 years old.

If you missed the many heartwarming, inspirational, and eye-opening stories this week on ABC News, you can view full-length clips, articles and a wealth of expert information by visiting ABCNews.com and searching for Alzheimer’s disease.

Read Terry Moran’s article for ABC’s Good Morning America.

Read the Time magazine article.

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4 Responses to “Alzheimer’s Disease Highlighted This Week on ABC News”

  1. I am Jay Jones’ first cousin. Jay’s father is my deceased father’s brother. Is there a blood test available to determine if my sisters and I have a defective gene for alzheimers? We are in the Washington, DC metro area. Thank you, Pamela Jones Whitney

  2. Angela Stringfellow says:

    Hi Pamela,

    Thanks for reading our post! Unfortunately, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is still highly subjective; however, great strides are being made in advancing diagnostic technology. We’ve discussed this research in a few previous posts:

    http://www.seniorhomes.com/w/early-detection-of-alzheimers-disease-possible-with-new-technology/
    http://www.seniorhomes.com/w/new-guidelines-may-pave-road-for-more-effective-alzheimers-treatments/
    http://www.seniorhomes.com/w/84-year-old-scientist-discovers-alzheimers-therapeutic-target/

    As you can see, detecting Alzheimer’s early on is unfortunately not a matter of a simple blood test. You can consult with your family physician on the availability of a brain scan, but even this will be a few years out, as the technology is still in late-phase clinical trials and won’t be approved until final study results are obtained, which often takes a number of years.

    I wish I had more positive news for you, but you can take a bit of comfort in knowing that while Alzheimer’s disease does have a genetic link, it does not mean that you are destined to develop the disease. Also, earlier detection means the development of more effective treatments that could slow the progression or even halt the disease, so this is good news. Keep checking our blog; we’ll continue to post news on the latest advances and news related to Alzheimer’s disease.

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