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McSally Holds Hearing On Impact Of Alzheimer's On Arizonans

Sens. Susan Collins and Martha McSally
Kathy Ritchie/KJZZ
editorial | staff
Sens. Susan Collins and Martha McSally

An estimated 140,000 Arizonans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. And that number is projected to increase, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. On Friday, Republican Sen. Martha McSally was in Scottsdale where she held a hearing about the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease on Arizonans. 

Several dozen people were in attendance. McSally was joined by the Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. McSally and Collins heard from three witnesses, including Dr. Alireza Atri, who is the director of the Banner Sun Health Research Institute.

Atri talked about some of the challenges patients face, such as timely detection.

Most individuals aren’t diagnosed until the moderate stages of dementia, and up to 40% to 50% of individuals with dementia don’t actually get a diagnosis.

Atri also hit on cost. He said there are inconsistencies between how the costs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias are calculated, and there’s research that shows that current estimates fail to recognize the true costs.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.