Dear Partners and Supporters of the We Won’t Wait Campaign,
We are thrilled to announce that the Alzheimer’s team received highest honors at annual XPrize Visioneers Summit.
The Alzheimer’s XPRIZE will harness the power of global crowdsourcing to find a new approach to diagnosing, treating, curing and preventing this disease.
Ken Dychtwald (Founder of AgeWave) and George Vradenburg (Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and of the GAP Foundation) serve as the co-leads of the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Team. John Dwyer (President of the GAP Foundation) and Meryl Comer (President of the Geoffrey Beene Foundaton-Alzheimer’s Initiative), both UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) board members were members of the Alzheimer’s BrainTrust which funded this initiative. And Greg O’Brien, also a UsA2 board member, and Lisa Genova (Harvard-trained neurologist and best-selling author of ‘Still Alice’) played pivotal presentation roles in the Visioneers Summit.
Not only did the Alzheimer’s team receive highest honors, they collected $25 million in the process.
Ric and Jean Edelman, founders of Edelman Financial Services and founding sponsors of the Alzheimer’s team, proudly announced at the Visioneers Summit their offer to provide $25 million in funding to support the XPRIZE competition focusing on Alzheimer’s. “Jean and I are honored to offer vital funding. We have seen first-hand the devastating impact of this dreadful disease on so many of our firm's clients, and we are thrilled to support the XPRIZE Foundation and the Alzheimer's Visioneers Team so we can finally eradicate Alzheimer’s Disease,” Ric Edelman explained.
Read more about this exciting news online.
We are well on our way to finding treatment and a cure for Alzheimer's and would love for you to share in our excitement on social media. Please feel free to use the below tweets and blurb for Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platform you use!
- Thank you @ricedelman for committing $25M to the @XPrize #Alzheimers team. Hard to describe this feeling of gratitude. http://bit.ly/2gwi7Qx
- #Alz team receives highest honors at @XPrize Summit + $25M to pursue innovative research @UsAgainstAlz @vradenburg3 http://bit.ly/2gwi7Qx
- #Alzheimers @XPrize team received highest honors + $25M at #VisioneersSummit @UsAgainstAlz @AgeWave @Vradenburg3 http://bit.ly/2gwi7Qx
- What would you do with $25 MILLION? The XPRIZE Alzheimer’s team has an idea and it involves innovative global crowdsourcing to predict the progression of Alzheimer's and ultimately prevent the disease. I’m so grateful to Ric and Jean Edelman for their generous contribution to the talented team that received highest honors at this year’s Visioneers Summit.
We can't wait to see what's in store for the all-star team and hope you will continue to follow along on their journey.
All of us at WomenAgainstAlzheimer's
Important new survey findings released today by WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH)show that approximately 30 percent of nurse practitioners (NPs) in women’s health do not raise brain health issues with patients, while only 18 percent of nurse practitioners occasionally broach the issues during office visits. In fact, 68 percent of the time, patients are raising brain health issues, rather than the nurse practitioners treating them.
The findings raise needed awareness for enhanced training of nurse practitioners and for the adoption of better tools and protocols that increase brain health assessments during regular care visits, which can aid in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Often, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is made too late, when patients and their families are already in crisis.
Furthermore, the lack of communication about memory and brain health with patients can prevent participation in potentially game-changing clinical trials, which can advance Alzheimer’s-related science and research. The survey found that just 5% of NPs refer patients to clinical trials.
“Alzheimer’s remains like cancer was in the 1960’s, a disease that strikes fear in patients and practitioners alike,” said Jill Lesser, President of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s and Chief Strategy Officer of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “Without honest, informed screening and diagnosis, we will continue to leave families in crisis and slow progress to a cure. Clinical trials need participants and brain health awareness and assessments will help us get there.”
The survey, Brain Health is Women’s Health, was conducted to understand women’s health providers’ knowledge of and attention to Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as study the advice women are receiving from nurse practitioners, who often represent a patient’s primary access point to the healthcare system. Two-thirds of the 5.5 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s are women, and the survey makes clear that brain health assessments need to be added as central components of “well-woman exams.”
However, because clinicians are not routinely initiating conversations about memory and brain health, many women are not receiving an early diagnosis or the information they need to formulate a care plan.
Other survey findings were striking:
- 26% of NPs don’t know when to start asking about brain health, despite the fact that changes in brain health can start more than a decade before active symptoms occur.
- When presented with a memory issue, only 15% of nurse practitioners carry out a diagnostic test and just more than half refer patients to a neurologist.
- 86% of NPs report not having a standard diagnostic tool.
- 84% of NPs agreed or strongly agreed that they would benefit from additional resources and training.
- 45% of NPs report a lack of familiarity with the signs and symptoms of dementia; however, 54% said that they want better knowledge in this area.
“Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners’ provide holistic healthcare to women, therefore, assessing brain health should be included in the well-woman visit,” said Gay Johnson, CEO of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health. “Quality education and efficient tools are key factors to enhance nurse practitioners’ competence in identifying dementia and providing memory health services to their patients.”
The survey findings helped form the conclusion that further education of dementia signs and symptoms, as well as a standard method to assess brain health, can help nurse practitioners prioritize early diagnosis and help establish a dementia care pathway for people with Alzheimer’s or related dementias and their caregivers.
The survey findings were officially released today during the “Women’s Forum on Alzheimer’s: Breaking Down Barriers to Early Diagnosis” at the Woman’s Athletic Club of Chicago.
WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, an UsAgainstAlzheimer’s network, unites women across the globe to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Its growing network of women is impatient with the slow progress being made in the Alzheimer’s fight and, driven by our passion, is committed to ending current “business-as usual” approaches to funding, research and advocacy to bring Alzheimer’s out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Because women won’t wait. WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s was founded by Trish Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Vice-Chair, who passed away in April 2017.
The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health's (NPWH) mission is to ensure the provision of quality primary and specialty healthcare to women of all ages by women's health nurse practitioners and other nurse practitioners who provide health care to women. Our mission includes protecting and promoting a woman's right to make her own choices regarding her health within the context of her personal, religious, cultural, and family beliefs. NPWH is a trusted source of information on nurse practitioner education, practice, and women's health issues and works with a wide range of individuals and groups within nursing, medicine, the healthcare industry, and the women's health community to advocate for issues vital to women’s wellness and equality.
“A cure for Alzheimer’s: a fantasy, a wish, an impossible dream; the same words that were said to Galileo, Edison, Curie, Salk and whoever dreamed up the internet. Yesterday’s dream is today’s reality.” – Trish Vradenburg, Founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s