Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Hoag Launches Orange County Vital Aging Program
*Fee for in-person screenings: The screenings were offered during an introductory
period free of charge through a grant from The UniHealth Foundation. The
screenings are now generously subsidized by Hoag Neurosciences Institute
and offered at a cost of $45.
Newport Beach, CA – Hoag Neurosciences Institute (HNI) today announced the launch of the
Orange County Vital Aging Program (OCVAP), a community-wide, multi-disciplinary program dedicated to raising
education awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
(ADRD). OCVAP’s goal is to help men and women maintain a healthy
brain for life by encouraging risk factor management, facilitating early
intervention against cognitive impairment and generally improving standards
of care for ADRD, as well supporting the local medical community in their
efforts to promote healthy aging.
At the center of OCVAP is a newly-developed online self-assessment tool
that allows users to take control of their own cognitive health by evaluating
their memory, learning about key risk factors for ADRD, identifying the
earliest stages of memory loss due to underlying medical conditions, and
evaluating for contributing factors of cognitive decline caused by depression.
Memory Screen– a short test to review the nature and severity of any perceived memory
difficulties. This brief assessment accurately distinguishes concerning
signs of decline from the more natural slowing of function we all experience
with age. The intent is to reassure those who are likely to be aging normally
while encouraging those with more serious symptoms to see their physician.
Depression Screen– a short evaluation based on standard criteria for depression. This is
an effective way for the public to understand if they may need to see
a physician for a professional evaluation of their depression status.
Risk Factor Identification – an interactive interview to educate the user about all known risk factors
for memory loss. This tool pulls relevant information from over 1,000
medical publications and presents a customized report about the user’s
risks, as well as the current state of knowledge for managing those risks.
Through these user-friendly assessments, individuals have the opportunity
to evaluate their health in the privacy of their own homes, and to benefit
from online suggestions for proper prevention.
The OCVAP recommends a three-step process to assess your brain health:
Register online at
www.OCVitalAging.org and take the self assessment
- Take a free*, in-person assessment with a participating physician or at Hoag
- Repeat in one year to track your progress
“Recent studies have concluded that Alzheimer’s disease can
be detected much earlier than previously thought and that early detection
of the disease can help delay the progression of AD by up to five to six
years,” states William R. Shankle, MD MS, Program Director, Memory
and Cognitive Disorders, Hoag Neurosciences Institute. “Through
the development of OCVAP, we hope to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s
disease and the importance of early detection. Specifically, with OCVAP’s
free online assessment tools and the brief, yet accurate follow-up objective
assessment, individuals can implement simple yearly check-ups for Alzheimer’s
that can help in the early detection and possible prevention of the disease.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is estimated that today
5.3 million people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Many
remain undiagnosed. From 2000 to 2006, deaths from the disease increased
by a staggering 46.1 percent while other selected causes of death decreased,
so Alzheimer’s now ranks as the 7th leading cause of death. What’s
more, the disease has racked up 172 billion dollars in annual costs.
In addition to the online assessment tool, OCVAP is comprised of various
key components to better serve the Orange County community, including:
- An online information portal serving as the program’s hub.
- A series of educational seminars offered for free to the public.
- A physician education/support program to implement the highest standards
of care in cognitive assessment and treatment.
- Online resources for the public to identify, track and reduce ADRD risk
factors that threaten their cognitive health.
- Full-time professional resources to counsel the public about ADRD risk
reduction, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
- A referral service for directing the public to medical and community resources
“This program empowers the public to take action on their own behalf
and is a novel and creative approach to raising awareness about memory
loss and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Jeffrey Cummings, MD,
Director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “Awareness
programs like OCVAP are essential in allowing the public to take preemptive
measures against Alzheimer’s disease.”
For more information on the Orange County Vital Aging Program, please visitwww.OCVitalAging.org.
For a list of doctors participating in the program, visithttp://www.ocvitalaging.org/physician/ParticipantList.seam?liststatus=list&logic=and&cid=923
About the Orange County Vital Aging Program
The Orange County Vital Aging (OCVA) Program, launched by Hoag Neurosciences
Institute in July 2010, is a community program promoting early detection
and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD)
through education, proactive tracking and timely intervention against
memory loss and cognitive decline. The OCVAP engages public and professional
resources to increase public knowledge about ADRD, develop strategies
to reduce risk for these conditions, and study and monitor healthy cognitive
aging, as well as detect cognitive impairment due to ADRD early, when
it is most treatable. The OCVAP is supported by a grant to Hoag Neurosciences
Institute from the UniHealth Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization
whose mission is to support and facilitate activities that significantly
improve the health and well being of individuals and communities within
its service area. For more information, visit OCVitalAging.org.
About Hoag Neurosciences Institute (HNI)
Hoag Neurosciences Institute (neurosciences) coordinates clinical neuroscience specialists, dedicated facilities and
the latest technology to provide individualized patient management under
the following programs: Memory and Cognitive Disorders, Brain Tumors,
Stroke, Epilepsy, Pain, Movement Disorders, and Neurobehavioral Disorders.
HNI also houses the Multiple Sclerosis, Voice and Swallowing, and Sleep
Centers and is becoming a regional referral center for all brain and spinal
About Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian (hoag.org) is a 498-bed, non-profit, acute care hospital located in Newport Beach,
Calif. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission and designated as a Magnet
hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Hoag offers
a comprehensive mix of health care services, including Centers of Excellence
in neurosciences (HNI), cancer, heart and vascular, orthopedics and women’s
health. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County’s
most preferred hospital for the past 14 consecutive years. And for an
unprecedented 14 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as
the county’s best hospital in a local newspaper survey. In order
to meet the growing needs of Irvine and South County residents, Hoag will
be opening an Irvine campus. Hoag continues to offer additional services
to the community through the seven Hoag Health Centers located throughout