November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month
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[November 10, 2008]
CHICAGO -- To aid in the
research, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease, Gov. Rod
R. Blagojevich on Sunday announced $190,000 in grants generated by
the Alzheimer's Disease Research Fund. The fund was created through
donations made by Illinois taxpayers on their 2007 Illinois
individual income tax returns. In an effort to promote advocacy
activities, the study of Alzheimer's disease and to honor those
whose lives have been affected by it, the governor also proclaimed
November to be Alzheimer's Awareness Month in Illinois.
"We are working hard to raise money for the research that will
make a difference in lives of those living with Alzheimer's and also
to help find a way to prevent our loved ones from the feeling the
agony of this disease," Blagojevich said. "I'm happy to see that so
many Illinoisans have contributed to this special fund and encourage
them to continue their support."
Money contributed to the Alzheimer's Disease Research Fund is used
to find a cause, cure and more effective ways to diagnose and treat
this debilitating disease, which afflicts more than 200,000 people
in Illinois. Victims of this age-related form of dementia suffer a
progressive loss of memory, attention span and the ability to learn.
Since the fund first appeared on the 1985 state 1040 tax form,
taxpayers have contributed more than $3.2 million to support 147
research projects. Alzheimer's disease is the fifth-leading cause of
death in Illinois for people 65 and older.
"Research is vital to
Alzheimer's disease because there is no cure. These grants will help
researchers come one step closer to finding a cure for this
debilitating disease and will help many Illinoisans find hope that
there someday may be a cure," said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, director of
the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Alzheimer's disease is an incurable, progressive, degenerative
disease of the brain. It is the most common form of dementia.
Alzheimer's is not just memory loss, it is also a decline in the
ability to think and understand. Consequent changes in personality
are accompanied by an inability to function. The type, severity,
sequence and progression of the mental changes vary widely among
individuals. While it most frequently affects older individuals,
Alzheimer's disease is not a part of normal aging.
More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, and more
than 210,000 live in Illinois. Unless a cure or prevention for the
disease is found, this number is expected to increase as the
population ages; an estimated 16 million Americans will be stricken
with Alzheimer's by 2050.
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"Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease that can have a devastating
affect on the person affected and their family," said Illinois
Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson. "Currently, there
is no cure for Alzheimer's, but there are treatments and assistance
to improve the quality of life for people affected. Illinois Care Rx
is an optional benefit for eligible seniors that helps pay for
approved medications to treat Alzheimer's."
For more information about programs and services, call the
Illinois Department on Aging at 800-252-8966; for hearing-impaired
use only, call 888-206-1327 TTY.
To make a direct contribution to the Alzheimer's tax checkoff
fund, send a check payable to the Illinois Department of Public
Health, P.O. Box 4263, Springfield, IL 62708. The designated fund
should be clearly noted on the check.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]