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    Mayo Clinic Minute: National plan to address Alzheimer’s disease

middle aged or older woman thinking, looking sad with head in hands 16x9Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Nearly 5½ million Americans have it. If effective medical treatments can’t be found, that number is projected to triple by 2050.

That’s why, in 2011, after unanimous approval by Congress, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act was signed into law. Ever since its inception, the director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ronald Petersen, has chaired the advisory council that helps set priorities for a national strategic plan of action.

“The advisory council advises the secretary of Health and Human Services on the content of the plan,” says Dr. Petersen. “And the plan itself is then used by advocacy organizations to go to Capitol Hill and lobby for increased funding for various aspects of Alzheimer’s disease – primarily research, but also for the delivery of care and services.” Dr. Petersen says the effort seems to be paying off. Here’s Dennis Douda.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (0:58) is in the downloads. Read the script.