NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A new education program will help caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease preserve treasured family memories through the art of scrapbooking. The program, called Memories to Treasure, was introduced today by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc in partnership with the National Alliance for Caregiving and Creating Keepsakes scrapbook magazine. The campaign is designed to help caregivers connect with their loved ones and to educate them about caregiving. A majority of the 4.5 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease live at home, where family and friends provide most of the daily care. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, characterized by a decline in memory and cognition, function and behavior. As the disease advances symptoms worsen, increasing the amount of time and emotional energy caregivers and families spend taking care of their loved one. "Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease can be emotionally and physically challenging," said Gail Hunt, president and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving. "In addition to needing knowledge about how to address the medical aspects of the disease, caregivers need activities that help foster positive interactions with their loved one." The Memories to Treasure program offers scrapbooking to engage families in a positive environment. The program includes a Web site, http://www.memoriestotreasure.com, educational materials for Alzheimer's caregivers and a free scrapbooking starter kit. The activities involved in scrapbooking, such as collecting old photographs and keepsakes, can benefit people with Alzheimer's disease. While people with Alzheimer's disease often have problems with short-term memory, they may be able to recall past experiences. Scrapbooking can lead to a conversation about people and events. Reminiscing about the past can be enjoyable for people with Alzheimer's disease and can help facilitate interaction between Alzheimer's sufferers and their caregivers. "Making time for enjoyable activities like scrapbooking is one way for caregivers to stay positive and connect with their loved one," said Daniel Kuhn, MSW, author of Alzheimer's Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends and Caregivers. While scrapbooking can benefit families facing Alzheimer's, finding a treatment to help slow the progression of the symptoms of the disease is another important aspect of caregiving. "It's important for families to understand that while there is no cure for Alzheimer's, we do have effective prescription treatments available," said Benjamin Seltzer, M.D., director of the Alzheimer's Disease & Memory Disorders Center, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans. "For example, Aricept has been shown to improve cognitive function and behavior in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease." Caregivers and family members who want to learn more about Memories to Treasure can visit http://www.memoriestotreasure.com. They will find tips on caregiving, information about Alzheimer's disease and a prescription treatment, a Memory Checklist to help guide discussion with a physician, and instruction on how to create a scrapbook to preserve treasured family memories. The free Memories to Treasure scrapbooking kit and educational materials can be ordered online. Information About ARICEPT(R) (donepezil HCl tablets) Treatment in Alzheimer's disease While there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, medical treatments are available to manage symptoms of the disease. Once-a-day prescription ARICEPT is indicated for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. ARICEPT is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and is believed to work by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, thereby increasing available levels of this chemical in the brain. There is an established association between the loss of acetylcholine, a brain chemical involved in memory and thinking, and Alzheimer's disease. In a progressively degenerative disease such as Alzheimer's, improvement, stabilization, or a less-than-expected decline over time is considered a positive response to treatment. These types of responses have been observed in patients treated with ARICEPT in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease. Individual responses to treatment vary, and some patients may not respond. ARICEPT is the number one prescribed Alzheimer's disease therapy worldwide, with more than 2.5 billion patient days of ARICEPT therapy. Nearly 2.3 million people in the United States alone have taken ARICEPT. ARICEPT is well tolerated but may not be for everyone. Some people may have nausea, diarrhea, not sleep well or vomit. Some people may have muscle cramps, feel very tired, or may not want to eat. In studies, these side effects were usually mild and went away over time. People at risk for stomach ulcers or who take certain other medicines should tell their doctors because serious stomach problems, such as bleeding, may get worse. Some people who take ARICEPT may experience fainting. ARICEPT is co-promoted in the United States by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc, which are dedicated to advances in Alzheimer's therapy. For more information about managing Alzheimer's disease and about ARICEPT, and for prescribing information on ARICEPT, please see accompanying full prescribing information or visit http://www.aricept.com. About National Alliance for Caregiving The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) is a non-profit coalition created in 1996 to support family caregivers and the professionals who serve them. Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well being of older Americans, NAC was created to conduct research, develop national projects, and increase public awareness of the issues of family caregiving. For more information, visit http://www.caregiving.org. About Creating Keepsakes Creating Keepsakes magazine is America's leading scrapbook magazine, providing a wide variety of scrapbook page ideas and styles for intermediate to advanced scrapbookers who are passionate about their hobby. The magazine is published 13 times a year, has a readership of approximately half a million and is available at scrapbook specialty stores, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Michael's and Hobby Lobby stores, as well as craft retailers nationwide. For more information about Creating Keepsakes, visit http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com or call 888-247-5282. About Eisai Inc. Eisai Inc. is a U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products in more than 30 countries. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. Established in 1995, Eisai Inc. began marketing its first product in the United States in 1997 and has rapidly grown to become an integrated pharmaceutical business with sales of $2 billion in fiscal year 2004 (year ended March 31, 2005). Eisai Inc. employs approximately 1,200 people at its headquarters in Teaneck, NJ, at its state-of-the-art pharmaceutical production and formulation research and development facility in Research Triangle Park, NC, and in the field. Between 1998 and 2004, Eisai Inc. moved up rapidly in the rankings (based on revenues) of U.S. pharmaceutical companies from No. 44 to No. 19. About Pfizer Inc Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals and many of the world's best-known consumer brands.
SOURCE Eisai Inc.; Pfizer Inc