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Tips for Caregivers and a New Therapy Offers Hope in the Fight Against Alzheimer's

November 23, 2009

Axona Now Showing Promise in Clinical Use for Alzheimer's Disease

Broomfield, CO, November 23, 2009 – November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. Every 70 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease, and the number of cases is expected to double every 20 years. This devastating and progressive disease not only affects patients, but also takes a physical toll on the friends and family members who care for them. Caring for a family member or friend with Alzheimer's can be a full time job. If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's, you are not alone—almost 10 million Americans provide unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. In addition to the financial burden this places on friends and family, caregivers often experience profound emotional changes such as feelings of loss and grief.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer's, there are drugs and medications that target the symptoms. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of memory loss and disorientation, talk with your physician about different therapy options. One of the newest prescription therapies, Axona® provides the brain with an alternative source of energy. In Alzheimer's patients, brain cells often do not efficiently use glucose, a main fuel for the brain, and as a result the cells do not function properly. Axona works by getting into the cell through other pathways and provides the cell the fuel it needs to continue functioning. Available on the market since March 2009, Axona has been clinically shown to improve cognitive function and memory and is now showing positive results in Alzheimer's patients.

Jennifer Hendrix, caregiver for her mother for the past six years and now the primary caregiver for her father who has Alzheimer's, knows all about researching the latest clinical trials and therapy options.

"It is important to remain a strong advocate for a loved one's health care and get the whole family involved in their medical care so that it is less overwhelming. New therapies, such as Axona, and research on lifestyle changes, offer hope to helping manage Alzheimer's symptoms," said Hendrix. "My dad has been using Axona for three months, and I have noticed that his memory has improved and he interacts more with his family."

Dr. David Crumpacker, a Texas psychiatrist specializing in Alzheimer's, is currently prescribing Axona for some of his Alzheimer's patients and is passionate about letting people know what support is available to patients and their caregivers. As a caregiver, coping with Alzheimer's can be overwhelming and stressful. You can make sure that your loved one feels supported and is living a full life. You can also ensure that you are taking steps to preserve your own well-being. Dr. Crumpacker believes in treating the disease aggressively and offers caregivers tips for managing the burden:

  • Early diagnosis: Know the signs of Alzheimer's disease and encourage family or friends to get tested if you notice symptoms. For more information on the warning signs of Alzheimer's, visit the Alzheimer's Foundation of America and consult a physician.
  • Educate yourself about the disease: Read books, attend workshops and consult with healthcare professionals.
  • Share the burden: Create a circle of people to assume some responsibility for care. Tap into family, friends, neighbors, faith-based or community volunteer organizations.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Staying physically active and eating right is beneficial to both the caregivers' and patients' health. A healthy lifestyle also extends to the brain.
  • Do cognitive stimulation activities with your loved one: Listening to music, word puzzles and memory games can easily be done at home.

About Alzheimer's Disease

AD, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive and fatal disease for which there is no cure. It attacks the brain's nerve cells, resulting in loss of memory, executive function, thinking and language skills.

As many as 5.3 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's. With an aging baby boomer population, by 2050, the number of individuals aged 65 and older who will be living with Alzheimer's is projected to be between 11 million and 16 million. With the lack of innovative new medications, both patients and caregivers are seeking alternative therapies to improve quality of life.

About Axona™

Axona is a first-in-class prescription medical food for the clinical dietary management of the metabolic processes associated with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Dispensed by prescription, Axona targets the metabolic deficiencies and imbalances associated with Alzheimer's disease by providing an alternative energy source for brain cells. With simple administration and once-a-day convenience, Axona is complementary to current Alzheimer's disease therapies. For more information about Axona, please visit or ask your physician.