Preview of HBO Documentary Series: The Alzheimer's Project
Media Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver, 859-361-1887
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2009) - An advance screening of the HBO Alzheimer's Project documentary "The Memory Loss Tapes" will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26, 2009, at the Patterson Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington. Registration is at 2:30 p.m. The event will include remarks from experts, a panel discussion and a question and answer session. The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and Home Box Office (HBO) are hosting the preview.
The Alzheimer's Project is a presentation of HBO Documentary Films and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in association with the Alzheimer's Association, The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer's Initiative. The multi-platform series examines the effects of this debilitating and fatal disease on those with Alzheimer's and their families and takes a close look at groundbreaking discoveries made by the country's leading scientists.
Opening remarks will be given by Deborah Danner, Education and Information Core director, UK Alzheimer's Disease Center, who will discuss the Alzheimer's disease epidemic, the UK Alzheimer's Disease Center's support for patients and their families, and advances in Alzheimer's research.
"We are honored that the Lexington/Bluegrass area was selected as a site to premiere the HBO Memory Loss Tapes," said Danner. "We think that the improved understanding provided by these powerful personal stories will make a real difference in the willingness of patients and families to seek and accept available support."
Teri Shirk, president and CEO of the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Alzheimer's Association Chapter, will speak about the human toll on families dealing with the disease, the support the Alzheimer's Association provides for families and their loved ones, and tell the guests how they are not alone in their struggle to care for their loved ones with Alzheimer's disease.
"More than 80,000 people in Kentucky will have Alzheimer's by December 2009, and 10 million baby boomers will have the disease," said Shirk. "Seventy percent of people living with Alzheimer's in Kentucky live at home and are cared for by family members. The state could see a 30 percent increase over a 25 year span, from year 2000 to 2025."
Pat Conner, director, HBO Southern Region, will give a broad overview of the Alzheimer's Project, and encourage guests to take advantage of the resources offered by the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association.
Following the screening of "The Memory Loss Tapes," a panel discussion and a question and answer session with guests will include Dr. William R. Markesbery, director, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging; Marie B. Smart, social worker, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging; Dr. Frederick Schmitt, neuropsychologist, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging; Teri Shirk, president and CEO of the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Alzheimer's Association Chapter; and Beth Roettger, a caregiver. The moderator is Bill Goodman, Kentucky Educational Television (KET) host of "Kentucky Tonight."
One of the most devastating forms of memory loss is Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Today, Alzheimer's is the second most-feared illness in America, following cancer, and may affect as many as five million Americans. As the baby-boom generation reaches retirement, that number could soar to more than 11 million by 2040 and have a huge economic impact on America's already fragile health care system.
Nearly one in six Americans believes he or she knows someone with Alzheimer's who has not sought diagnosis or treatment. Of those who suspect they know someone who has not sought a diagnosis or treatment, roughly half have not encouraged that person to seek diagnosis or treatment.
While there is no cure for the disease, The Alzheimer's Project shows there is now genuine reason to be optimistic about the future. Scientific research is gaining momentum in discovering ways to treat and possibly prevent this devastating brain disease. Aiming to bring a new understanding, The Alzheimer's Project, created by the award-winning team behind HBO's "Addiction" project, features a four-part documentary series, 15 short supplemental films, a Website and a nationwide community-based information and outreach campaign. A book published by Public Affairs Books was developed by the producers as a companion to the project. HBO will use all of its platforms, including the HBO main service, multiplex channels, HBO on Demand, HBO Podcasts, hbo.com, HBO Channel on YouTube and DVD sales, to support the project.
Reservations are required for the event. To confirm, call 859-266-5283 or go online. For more information about The Alzheimer's Project, call 859-266-5283.