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LI forums seek input on Alzheimer's

Two public forums in the next week will give Long Islanders, including those living with Alzheimer’s disease, the opportunity to contribute ideas for a National Alzheimer’s Plan.

A meeting for residents of Nassau and Queens will be Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Brandywine Assisted Living at The Savoy, 5515 Little Neck Pkwy., Little Neck.

In Suffolk County, a session is scheduled  7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Long Island State Veterans Home, 100 Patriots Rd., Stony Brook.

The meetings, sponsored by the Long Island and New York City chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association, are two of hundreds across the country being held this month. Opinions expressed by caregivers, researchers, physicians, nurses and patients will be shared with Alzheimer’s experts at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The forums are an outgrowth of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act signed into law earlier this year by President Barack Obama. The hope is to develop a comprehensive strategy that reaches across multiple federal agencies.

Alzheimer’s Association officials say the key elements they would like to see in a national plan are commitment to developing an early-diagnosis method and defining obstacles that affect families caring for someone with the disease.

Alzheimer’s is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects 5.4 million in the United States. The number of patients is expected to rise exponentially over the next few decades unless a cure is found.

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