May 15, 2012 12:59 PM by Matt Stafford
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is declaring Alzheimer's one of the country's biggest health challenges.
It's adopting a national strategy that sets the clock ticking toward better treatments by 2025 -- while offering help for suffering families today.
A new website will provide families with information about dementia and where to get help in their own communities.
Announcing the first National Alzheimer's Plan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said "a lot more needs to be done and it needs to be done right now."
This summer, doctors and other health providers can start getting some free training on how to spot the early signs of Alzheimer's and the best ways to care for those patients.
Meanwhile, the National Institutes of health will spend an extra $50 million on Alzheimer's research this year. Among the new studies of possible therapies is a nasal spray that sends insulin straight to the brain. Some research has linked diabetes and Alzheimer's.
Already, 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's or related dementias. Without a research breakthrough, those numbers will jump by 2050, when up to 16 million Americans are expected to have Alzheimer's.