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Plan To Implement San Diego County Alzheimer’s Project Gets Green Light

It's full speed ahead for San Diego County's Alzheimer's Project.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the implementation plan for the initiative, which was launched with much fanfare last year.

The county recently released two reports that highlight the impact of Alzheimer's disease on the region.

The reports estimate more than 60,000 San Diegans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The disease is now the county’s third leading cause of death.

Nick Macchione, director of the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, said the costs of dealing with Alzheimer’s are staggering.

"The total lifetime costs of care of San Diegans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, is estimated to be between $13.5 billion and $27 billion," he said.

The county’s Alzheimer’s Project has six components, including one aimed at generating more money for research into possible therapies.

Neurologist Michael Lobatz co-chairs a committee that’s trying to improve medical care for people with Alzheimer’s. He said with the number of afflicted people on the rise, there aren't enough doctors to go around.

“Seems like there’s a doctor on every corner," Lobatz said. "But that’s not the case. There are not enough physicians in the county to take care of this burgeoning population of patients.”

The initiative involves a multi-tiered approach to tackling Alzheimer's, including efforts to stimulate more research into potential therapies.

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