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National Family Caregivers Association Supports Advocate in His Mission to Raise Awareness of the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease


South San Francisco, CA – Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, together with its collaborator on the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program, Pfizer Inc., is pleased to announce the addition of the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA), an organization that empowers family caregivers to act on behalf of themselves and their loved ones, as a supporter of The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything campaign. NFCA joins the campaign just as alpine mountaineer and Alzheimer’s disease advocate Alan Arnette successfully summitted Aconcagua in Argentina, his second climb of the 7 Summits. Through this campaign, Alan is seeking to climb the 7 Summits, the highest peak on each continent, in order to help raise awareness of the enormous financial and personal burden Alzheimer’s places on people with the disease, their family caregivers and society. In addition, he hopes to raise $1 million. The funds he raises will go directly to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund™, and now NFCA to advance Alzheimer’s research and support for family caregivers, respectively. It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and approximately 10.9 million unpaid caregivers see to their daily needs.

“The NFCA’s participation in this campaign spotlights the vital and expanding role of the Alzheimer’s caregiver, which is why we are so glad they have joined this effort,” said Stef Heylen, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research and Development for Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program. “Through their participation in the 7 Summits campaign, NFCA will be able to reach even more family caregivers, providing education, support and a public voice.”

Prior to Aconcagua, Alan summitted the first of the 7 Summits -- Mt. Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica -- in December. Coming up in April, Alan is planning to summit Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. is funding Alan’s climbs so that all money he raises from donations will go directly to the organizations he has selected.

“2011 marks the Year of the Caregiver, and as such, we are thrilled to join Alan in his efforts to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and the burden it places on family caregivers,” said Suzanne Mintz, president and CEO of NFCA. “We applaud Alan for his commitment, perseverance and tireless advocating for the AD community.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, with another person newly diagnosed every 70 seconds. The burden of caring for these patients often falls to family members. Last year, these family caregivers provided about 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care.

Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program
The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. is an equal collaboration committed to researching and developing selective products for the treatment and/or prevention of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program believes that it is possible to reduce the burden of disease through early intervention in the illness. It is dedicated to delivering comprehensive and integrated solutions that help address the needs of people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Its research focuses on the beta amyloid hypothesis. Scientific evidence supports the idea that preventing the accumulation and/or promoting the removal of beta-amyloid may have the potential to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and help preserve function in people with the disease. This theory is being tested in clinical trials.

Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy
Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy is researching, developing and commercializing selective products for the treatment and/or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy is based in Dublin and has R&D facilities in South San Francisco.

National Family Caregivers Association
National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) envisions an America in which family caregivers lead full and productive lives, free from depression, pain, isolation, and financial distress. NFCA provides family caregivers support, education, and a public voice.

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is a non-profit public charity established to provide funding for targeted research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund exists exclusively to fund targeted research to hasten the slowing, stopping or reversing of Alzheimer’s disease.


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