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Education for Alzheimer's Dementia Patients and Their Families

July 22, 2011

As a world leader in the therapeutic field of Alzheimer-type dementia, Eisai is engaged in numerous programs with non-profit organizations and academic centers across the globe. In most cases, we work together with the local Alzheimer-type Dementia Foundation or Association with regard to creating awareness and educating patients, families and caregivers on the nature of dementia and Alzheimer-type dementia. Activities include public forums or public screening and the dissemination of patient information with regards to the disease itself.

In India, we initiated educational and awareness programs in 2005. At the time, India had little common understanding of dementia among the general population. In 2005, it was reported that India had 2.1 million patients afflicted with dementia, while the total number of individuals receiving treatment was only 85,000. Our first step was to spread awareness of the disease. We work with non-profit organizations and the media to raise awareness of dementia and invested heavily in the development and distribution of educational materials including free information booklets for patients and their families in 10 languages used in India. We also work in the community with elderly groups and arrange lectures on dementia to be given by neurologists and psychiatrists. We assist mobile screening camps, where volunteer doctors gather every Saturday and Sunday to offer health check-ups for patients.

Individuals identified as presenting symptoms of dementia are recommended to visit a clinic. To ensure that these people receive appropriate treatment, we support preparation of memory clinics and medical care staff education.

To date, we have conducted 4,421 screening camps and screened more than 61,883 senior citizens in collaboration with the Senior Citizens Association and Retired Employees Association as well as other NGOs. Additionally, we had opened of memory clinics, some of which are in association with Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI). To ARDSI, we provide dementia awareness materials during the National Dementia awareness program and partnered with them for organizing the National Dementia Strategy Consultative Meeting, which resulted in formulation of National Dementia Strategy 2010, which was submitted to the Government of India in 2010.

With our endeavor for increasing dementia awareness, the number of memory clinics across India is has increased to 69 and, the number of patients on treatment had steadily increased from 85,000 to 550,000.

We are expanding this effort for dementia into other countries. In the Philippines, for example, we have conducted various activities in partnership with the Dementia Society of the Philippines. Our activities include supporting establishment of memory clinics nationwide and trainings for neurologists, psychiatrists and geriatricians.

Eisai's efforts to create supportive social environments for dementia patients embody its human health care (hhc) philosophy.

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