By LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A draft of a new Alzheimer's strategy suggests starting with a national public awareness campaign so more people know the early warning signs of dementia and includes memory assessment tools in the annual Medicare wellness visit.
The government has set what it calls an ambitious goal for Alzheimer's disease: Development of effective ways to treat and prevent the mind-destroying illness by 2025.
A committee of Alzheimer's experts is holding a two-day meeting to help advise the government on how the final plan might meet those goals.
The draft plan calls for improving support and training for families so they know what resources are available and what to expect as dementia worsens.
An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's or similar dementias. It's the sixth-leading killer, and is steadily growing.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)