*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.
CaliforniaAlzheimer’s disease data report published in 2009 estimated
that in Orange County, approximately 46,000 people had Alzheimer’s
disease in 2008, a number expected to grow by 99 percent by 2030.
In addition, 11 percent of the population, or roughly 330,000 people,
are 65 years of age and older (based on 2007 data). Of those individuals,
approximately one out of four potentially have mild memory loss or cognitive
impairment (dementia?), which is now known to greatly increase the risk
of developing dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD).
Methods of prevention and treatment have been identified in recent research
trials that might significantly delay both the onset of symptoms and the
progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Early assessment may provide
reassurance of healthy aging, or detect a problem in its earliest stages.
Benefits of early detection include forestalling the progression of dementing
illnesses to maintain quality of life, reducing long-term institutionalization,
and reducing related health care costs.
To help combat the community’s fears of dementia, Hoag Neurosciences
Institute has started a comprehensive approach to these problems through
theOrange County Vital Aging Program* (OCVAP) launched in July, under
the direction ofWilliam R. Shankle, M.S., M.D., program director,Memory
& Cognitive Disorders, Hoag Neurosciences Institute.
“The design of the program encourages the community, primary care
physicians, and specialists to work together to proactively address this
growing concern, and to help counter the assumptions that nothing can
be done,” statesMichael Brant-Zawadzki, M.D., executive medical
director,Hoag Neurosciences Institute. “The OCVAP is being looked
at by national leaders in the field as a prototype of what a community-based
ADRD prevention program might look like.”
The self-assessment tools available on the program’s website allow
users to gain education and preliminarily assess their brain health by
checking their memory, mood and risk factors of ADRD. The OCVAP encourages
and offers more formal assessment and monitoring of memory in-person either
through participating physicians, or at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach as
a useful way to help prevent and delay the onset of ADRD. If seen at Hoag,
participants will receive a free personalizedreport that may reassure
them, or suggest the need for further testing.
For more information on the OCVAP or to schedule a free* screening, please
visitOCVitalAging.org or call 949/764-6288.