Mayo Clinic Physician to Head HHS Council on Alzheimer's Disease

ROCHESTER, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ronald Petersen, M.D., Cadieux Director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, was selected to chair the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services. The group was announced by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The 12 non-federal council members include Alzheimer's disease patient advocates, caregivers and health care providers. They will advise the secretary on federal programs that impact people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

“This is an important opportunity to have a significant impact on the federal Alzheimer’s disease initiatives and to develop a plan to address issues surrounding the disease,” Dr. Petersen says. “I look forward to working with Secretary Sebelius and the rest of the Advisory Council. Collaboration has guided patient care, research and education at Mayo Clinic for more than a century and will serve an important role here.”

Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.1 million Americans and is expected to impact more than 20 million people in the U.S. by 2050. Mayo Clinic researchers are pushing to identify individuals at the earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease to try to prevent cognitive impairment.

The advisory council, announced by HHS on Tuesday, will meet quarterly to help develop a national plan involving HHS, Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation. The council is required by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. Its members will serve four-year terms.

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