Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that is rapidly becoming one of the major health issues in America. Approximately 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Unless a cure or prevention is found, that number will increase to between 11 and 16 million by 2050. An estimated 340,000 Texans have Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer's is a disease of the brain that causes a steady decline in memory, thinking and behavior, severe enough to interfere with everyday life. How rapidly the disease progresses varies from person to person, but all sufferers experience confusion, personality changes, impaired judgment, and eventually can no longer care for themselves. Alzheimer's disease is a terminal illness. As the disease progresses, more and more of the brain is affected. Eventually the areas that control basic life functions, like swallowing and breathing, become irreversibly damaged.
The Alzheimer's Disease Program was established by legislative mandate in 1987 to provide information and support to Alzheimer's patients, their families, and long term care providers. Health and Safety Code, Subtitle E., Chapter 101 (HB1066, 70R) established the Texas Council on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders to serve as the state's advocate for persons with Alzheimer's disease and those who care for them. Members are appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House. The Council, staffed by and in cooperation with the Texas Department of State Health Services, functions to:
- Recommend needed action for the benefit of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their care givers.
- Disseminate information on services and related activities for persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders to the medical and academic communities, care givers, associations, and the general public.
- Coordinate services and activities of state agencies, associations, and other service providers.
- Encourage statewide coordinated research.
- Implement and coordinate statewide strategic planning to reduce the burden of Alzheimer’s disease in Texas.
NEW - 2013 Alzheimer's Association Facts and Figures Report: Click Here to Download PDF