Screening for Alzheimer’s Disease: Inspiration and Ideas From Breast Cancer Strategies

From Journal of Applied Gerontology

Rates of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are rising rapidly, yet screening rates for AD and memory impairment are low.  In addition to a significant economic burden, AD leads to stress and suffering for individuals and their families. This article highlights how targeted public health strategies increased disease awareness and early detection for breast cancer, and today, breast cancer screening is generally accepted by health care providers and the public. These effective strategies can be applied to AD, including grass roots community involvement, physician education, and public awareness campaigns..

Abstract

Screening rates for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and memory impairment are low. There is misinformation, fear, and stigma associated with memory loss and aging. Physicians are slow or reluctant to screen for memory impairment in older adults. The challenges to effective screening for AD are not unique. Thirty years ago, screening for breast cancer also suffered from low participation, fear, stigma, and misinformation. Targeted public health strategies increased disease awareness and early detection for breast cancer, and today, breast cancer screening is generally accepted by health care providers and the public.

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Article details
Tessa S. Lundquist and Rebecca E. Ready
Screening for Alzheimer’s Disease: Inspiration and Ideas From Breast Cancer Strategies
Journal of Applied Gerontology April 2015 34: 317-328, first published on September 17, 2013 doi:10.1177/0733464813500711

 

 

     
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