Alzheimer's Association

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Alzheimer's Association
Logo 2013-07-22 15-07.jpg
Motto Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's.
Founded 1980
Type NPO

The Alzheimer's Association, incorporated on April 10, 1980, as the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc., is a non-profit American voluntary health organization which focuses on care, support and research for Alzheimer's disease.


The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is "to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health."[1]

The vision of the Association is "a world without Alzheimer's disease."[1] Approximately 24 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer's,[2] including 5 million Americans.[3]


Jerome H. Stone founded the Alzheimer's Association with the help of several family support groups after meeting with the National Institute on Aging in 1979.[4] The Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association was incorporated on April 10, 1980. In that year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested $13 million in Alzheimer research. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan designated the first National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Week. The Alzheimer's Association founded more chapters and started its own research program.

Since its founding, the Alzheimer's Association, has been a catalyst and leader for a generation of advancements in Alzheimer research and care.

Programs and services[edit]

The Alzheimer's Association offers a toll-free, 24/7 Helpline for Alzheimer information, referrals and support in multiple languages. It can be reached by calling 800-272-3900.

Community-based Alzheimer's Association chapters provide services to families and professionals, including information and referral, support groups, care consultation, education and safety services.

MedicAlert + Safe Return [6] is the Association's 24-hour nationwide emergency response service for individuals with Alzheimer's or related dementia that wander (wandering (dementia)) or who have a medical emergency.

The Alzheimer's Association invests in Alzheimer research through a peer-reviewed research grants program. Since 1982, the Association has committed more than $220 million to best-of-field research proposals.

The Alzheimer's Association Green-Field Library [7] is the nation's largest library dedicated to Alzheimer's disease. The library provides a wide variety of free information services to the public.

Alzheimer's Association CareSource [8] is an online suite of resources that help coordinate assistance, locate senior housing, receive customized care recommendations and enhance caregiving skills.


Rita Hayworth Gala[edit]

In 1980 actress and dancer Rita Hayworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which contributed to her death in 1987 at age 68.[5] The public disclosure and discussion of her illness drew international attention to Alzheimer's, a disease that had been virtually forgotten by the medical community since its discovery in 1906, and helped to greatly increase public and private funding for Alzheimer's research.[6]

The Rita Hayworth Gala, a benefit for the Alzheimer's Association, is held annually in Chicago and New York City.[7] The program was founded in May 1985[8] by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, in honor of her mother. She is the hostess for the events and a major sponsor of Alzheimer's disease charities and awareness programs. As of August 2015, a total of more than $65 million had been raised through the events.[9][7]

Walk to End Alzheimer's[edit]

The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's (founded in 1989 as Memory Walk[10]) is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Held year-round in all 50 states, this event calls on volunteers of all ages to become champions in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

A Night at Sardi's[edit]

A Night at Sardi's is an event started in 1992 by Laurie Burrows Grad in memory of her father, writer-director Abe Burrows, who died from Alzheimer's disease. The evening of entertainment with many television stars has raised over $16 million for the Los Angeles Alzheimer's Association. The benefit is chaired by Laurie Grad and her husband, Peter Grad, former executive vice president of 20th Century Fox Television.

Blondes vs. Brunettes Powderpuff Football[edit]

Blondes vs. Brunettes Powderpuff football games were started by Sara Allen Abbott whose father, Texas State Representative Joseph Hugh Allen, died of Alzheimer's disease in 2008. Looking for a way to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association, Abbott organized a powder puff football game in tribute to her father, a lifelong football fan.[11] The game is now played in 16 cities and Abbott has received national recognition for her efforts in raising over $2 million for the Alzheimer's Association.[12][13][14] The game's increasing popularity in the Dallas-Fort Worth area resulted in the 2012 game moving to the Cotton Bowl to accommodate the larger crowds.[15]


International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease[edit]

As a part of the Alzheimer's Association research focus, the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD) updates knowledge about dementia. Attended by an average 5,000 researchers, physicians and care providers from around the world, ICAD is the largest group of international leaders in Alzheimer research and care. ICAD plenary, symposia, oral and poster session topics include:

Genetics, epidemiology and risk factors Cellular and animal models Neuropathology of amyloid, tau, protein misfolding, lipid biochemistry, signal transduction and other disease mechanisms Early detection and diagnosis, neuroimaging and biomarkers Current interventions and future therapies Evidence-based approaches to care and support

Dementia Care Conference[edit]

The Alzheimer's Association Dementia Care Conference provides learning opportunities for care professionals.


Alzheimer's & Dementia is the official publication of the Association, published since July 2005 by Elsevier for the dissemination of original research, comprehensive reviews, clinical trial results and other information related to Alzheimer's. This journal presents the latest original, peer-reviewed, basic and clinical research advances in the field, including early detection, prevention and treatment.

Alzheimer's Facts & Figures is an annual statistical abstract about Alzheimer's prevalence in the U.S.


The Alzheimer's Association has established an action campaign at Through the site, the Association encourages people to become champions for others living with Alzheimer's disease. Champions receive periodic updates on actions they can take to assist in the Association's goal, and update on the Association's progress towards fulfilling its mission.

Actions that can be undertaken in the fight against Alzheimer's disease are broken down into four categories:

  • Voice: Participants are encouraged to talk about Alzheimer's by telling their story, or simply sharing their thoughts.[16]
  • Open: "Open your eyes" encourages participants to learn about Alzheimer's, and then encourage others to learn.[17]
  • Move: Participants are encouraged to help support the fight against Alzheimer's by volunteering or participating in the Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's.[18] Since 1989, the Alzheimer's Association annual Walk to End Alzheimer's has raised over $225 million to help those with Alzheimer's disease.[19]
  • Act: Participants are encouraged to write to Congress, move the Alzheimer's message, take action in the fight against Alzheimer's.

Notable champions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Alzheimer's Association. About Us. Accessed 10 July 2007.
  2. ^ Ferri CP, Prince M, Brayne C; et al. (2005). "Global prevalence of dementia: a Delphi consensus study". Lancet 366 (9503): 2112–7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67889-0. PMC 2850264. PMID 16360788. 
  3. ^ Alzheimer's Association. What is Alzheimer's?. Accessed 15 July 2007.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Krebs, Albin (May 16, 1987). "Rita Hayworth, Movie Legend, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-09. 
  6. ^ Lerner, Barron H. (November 20, 2006). "Rita Hayworth's misdiagnosed struggle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  7. ^ a b "New York Rita Hayworth Gala". Alzheimer's Association. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  8. ^ Brozan, Nadine (May 24, 1985). "The Evening Hours". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  9. ^ "Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala". Alzheimer's Association. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  10. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Walk to End Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's Association. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  11. ^ The Non-Profit Times: “Blondes vs. Brunettes: Grassroots Effort Scores for Alzheimer's Association” September 15, 2010, page 7. Retrieved March 16, 2012 [1]
  12. ^ The Washington Post “Hair’s The Thing: Blondes vs. Brunettes is a Win-Win” Retrieved March 12, 2012 [2]
  13. ^ MSNBC, The Daily Rundown with Nora O'Donnell: "Making a Difference With Powder Puff Philanthropy" aired December 30, 2010 [3]
  14. ^ The Alcalde, University of Texas Alumni Magazine: "Class Notes" (Sara M. Allen Abott) December, 2010, page 90. Retrieved September 30, 2012.[4]
  15. ^ NBC Dallas-Fort Worth Channel 5 "Blondes vs. Brunettes for Charity - Cotton Bowl to host Blondes vs. Brunettes football game on Aug. 11" Retrieved October 6, 2012 [5]
  16. ^ Voice Accessed 15 July 2007.
  17. ^ Open Accessed 15 July 2007.
  18. ^ Move Accessed 15 July 2007.
  19. ^ Memory Walk Accessed 15 July 2007.

External links[edit]