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Pennsylvania Governor Corbett Signs Executive Order Creating Alzheimer's Disease Committee

One in 12 Pennsylvania families affected by Alzheimer's disease

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gov. Tom Corbett today signed an Executive Order establishing the Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease State Planning Committee.

The committee will work to create a state plan to address the growing Alzheimer's disease crisis in Pennsylvania.

"Since Pennsylvania is the fourth 'oldest' state in the nation, it is critical that we unite to find a cure and help those who are living with Alzheimer's disease, as well as those who care for them," Corbett said. "This committee will bring together experts to address the challenging issues related to this disease."

Corbett signed the executive order at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. The school's Alzheimer's Disease Center is one of two Pennsylvania centers funded by the National Institute of Health for advanced research in Alzheimer's disease. Through this funding, dramatic advances have been developed for more effective therapies in treating Alzheimer's disease.

Over 400,000 Pennsylvanians are currently living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Someone new is diagnosed every 69 seconds in the United States. 

Secretary of Aging Brian Duke will serve as the chairperson of the committee that will examine the needs and research the trends of Pennsylvania's Alzheimer's population.

"With the growing incidence of Alzheimer's disease and the increase in older adult population, it is critical that Pennsylvania develops a plan of action," Duke said. "The plan is intended to strengthen existing resources, information and expertise that will provide support for individuals over the age of 60 living with Alzheimer's disease, their families and caregivers."

The committee will include representatives from various state agencies as well as those personally impacted by Alzheimer's disease. They will have one year to develop a planned approach for Pennsylvania relating to Alzheimer's disease and other related brain disorders.

"The establishment of the State Alzheimer's Disease Planning Committee is a timely and important initiative, and it comes when there is real hope in the Alzheimer's research community," said John Q. Trojanowski, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Pennsylvania's Alzheimer's Disease Core Center.

"We are within striking distance of finding ways to slow or delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders such as Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal degeneration. This initiative will accelerate these efforts."

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