ROCHESTER, Minn. – More than 5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. That number is expected to triple by 2050.

At 9 p.m. CST/10 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 25, PBS will premiere “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts,” calling it an urgent wake-up call about the national threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease.

Neurologist Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center was a consultant on the documentary. “The film does an amazing job at capturing both the devastating human toll on patients and caregivers, as well as the critical financial impact on the nation that this disease poses,” Dr. Petersen says.

Dr. Petersen also is a panelist in a discussion on Alzheimer’s in Minnesota offered by Twin Cities Public Television, which produced the film. Twin Cities Public Television plans to air the panel discussion tonight LIVE at 7 pm CT on its Facebook page.

To interview Dr. Petersen or other Mayo experts about Alzheimer’s disease, contact Susan Barber Lindquist, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284 5005,

Research will be the focus of Dr. Petersen’s panel remarks. He notes that scientists don’t perform research in a vacuum: They need help from the community at large.

“People always ask what they can do to help prevent Alzheimer’s, and we talk about the importance of exercise, sleep, diet and staying socially engaged,” Dr. Petersen says. “But we also need people to volunteer for clinical trials  ─ even before they show signs of disease.”

Among the nearly two dozen clinical trials underway at Mayo Clinic to fight Alzheimer’s is one called the A4 Study, a multi-site, international study. Today’s Mayo Clinic News Network report shares more about the A4 study, which uses immunotherapy to try to prevent cognitive impairment before it begins.

Watch: Testing a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (2:40) is in the downloads.


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