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San Diego focusing on Alzheimer's

Posted: November 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm


Alzheimer's Disease patients congregate at the Glenner Memory Care Center in Hillcrest Wednesday.

SAN DIEGO San Diego is out to own Alzheimers disease.

That, in essence, is the ambitious and nationally unique goal of The Alzheimers Project, an initiative poised to be approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Led by county supervisors Dianne Jacob and Dave Roberts, a broad and deep coalition of civic leaders, scientists, caregivers, philanthropists and law-enforcement officials worked through the summer to craft a five-year plan that covers everything from raising money for research to forming better guidelines for doctors to diagnose and treat patients.

Some might see the effort as a bit naive. After all, Alzheimers is a global problem that the National Institutes of Health throws $500 million per year at with no cure or breakthrough therapy in sight.

Why, then, does one city think it can make significant headway?

Jacob, who came up with the idea after attending an Alzheimers outreach event last year, said she and many others believe San Diego County has the right mix to make strides not just in terms of research but also in improving the day-to-day lives of the estimated 150,000 caregivers currently helping the regions roughly 60,000 Alzheimers patients.

Weve got the brightest and the best researchers here. Weve got a community that will rally around this. Why not us? Jacob said.

The county government, which oversees local public-health issues, has worked for months to bring together a diverse grouping of stakeholders. Theyre divided into four main divisions: cure, care, clinical and public education.

Roundtable meetings have been held to discuss these central themes. Each group came forward with recommendations that were compiled to form the new report.

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San Diego focusing on Alzheimer's

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