Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Paris, France – July 19, 2011 –Dr. William Shankle MS, MD, FACP, program director,Memory and Cognitive Disorders, of Hoag Neurosciences Institute (HNI) presentedOrange County Vital Aging Program (OCVAP)data today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD) in Paris, France. The presentation highlighted 12-month results of the recently-developed Orange County Vital Aging Program, a community-wide, multi-disciplinary program dedicated to raising education awareness aboutAlzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD). This is the first implementation of the OCVAP concept put together by an international consortium of scientific leaders in the field of Alzheimer's disease.
“Changing the proactive approach of the medical and non-medical communities to ADRD healthcare is a substantial yet achievable challenge, and comprehensive education is the first step,” said Dr. Shankle. “The 12-month results of the Orange County Vital Aging Program in the local community demonstrate the power of public and physician education and may provide a replicable model for other communities nationwide.”
Within the 12 months of the program’s implementation (as of 12/31/2010), HNI held 12 educational activities that gathered a total of 870 attendees. Website traffic and access of the online self-assessment tool attracted nearly 1,200 unique visitors. The program’s community screening services drew 667 participants, in which professionals were able to find 24% prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (consistent with national estimates).
The inspiration behind the OCVAP was based on a roadmap initially developed in 2007 by the Leon Thal Symposium, an international panel of experts dedicated to preventing Alzheimer’s disease by year 2020. The symposium experts envisioned a broad coordination of national and local resources focused on managing risk factors, monitoring cognition and function, and enabling early diagnosis and treatment.
Aligned with this vision, the OCVAP was developed as a community-based education program that provides local residents with the necessary tools to assess risk factors, functional capacity and cognition. This effort has evolved into a coordinated community program that is reaching the at-risk population, medical and non-medical professionals, institutions, community organizations and public advocates.
“As the Orange County Vital Aging Program continues to progress and community participation increases, the importance of coordinating follow-up with participants in need of further counsel is imperative,” Dr. Shankle states. “We must continue to be cognizant of the needs of community physicians, and OCVAP addresses these needs through the development of clinical guidelines and links to physician support services and resources.”
The poster presentation is entitled “Orange County Vital Aging Program: A Community-Based Approach to Reduce Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on Health Care Resources.”
About theOrange County Vital Aging Program
The Orange County Vital Aging Program (OCVAP), 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, visitOCVitalAging.org.
AboutHoag Neurosciences Institute (HNI)
Hoag Neurosciences Institute (hoag.org/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 theMultiple Sclerosis, Voice and Swallowing, and Sleep Centers and is becoming a regional referral center for all brain and spinal disorders.