Symptoms Checklist Helps Families Identify Potential Memory Problems

Television Star Leeza Gibbons Urges Families to Recognize Symptoms Early



Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc

    NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive Press Release/ -- When
 television/radio personality and Extra! host Leeza Gibbons' mother began to
 repeat herself, her family initially suspected a drinking problem.  "We
 started thinking, maybe she really can't have a glass of wine with dinner,"
 said Gibbons.  "She's not handling it very well.  Our real wakeup call came
 from mom herself when she told my dad, 'I've paid this bill three times.
 Something's not right.'"
     Memory problems such as those Gibbons describes can be more than
 frustrating -- they may be early signs of something more serious such as
 Alzheimer's disease and an indication to look for answers.  Now, families
 concerned with the memory lapses of a loved one can complete the Memory
 Problems Checklist and share it with a physician to assist in patient
 evaluation.
     As the daughter and granddaughter of women diagnosed with Alzheimer's
 disease, Gibbons understands the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
 "I think my mom was more sensitive to the fact that something was wrong
 because she saw her own mother struggle with Alzheimer's," Gibbons said.
 "Other families may not have the same level of awareness."
     "The Memory Problems Checklist, a quick and easy questionnaire that can be
 completed in the privacy of the home, helps families identify concerns about
 memory problems they've observed in someone for whom they care and discuss
 these concerns with their doctor," said Jeffrey Gelblum, MD, associate
 professor of Neurology, University of Miami.  "Early diagnosis and appropriate
 treatment of Alzheimer's disease may slow the progression of symptoms,
 offering patients additional time at a higher level of cognitive function, and
 frankly, for Alzheimer's disease patients and their families, time together is
 precious."
     The 11-question checklist takes only minutes to complete and can help
 family members and their physicians in the evaluation of memory problems, or
 possibly early symptoms of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease represents
 the majority.  While the checklist does not offer a diagnosis, responses to
 the questions may further reinforce the need for a visit to a doctor's office
 for a complete evaluation, diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
     The checklist also provides a starting point for discussion among
 patients, families and physicians with questions such as, "Does he/she need
 reminders to do things like chores, shopping, or taking medicine?" In any
 case, individuals are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns with a
 healthcare professional.
     The Memory Problems Checklist was developed and validated by James Mundt,
 Ph.D., research scientist, Healthcare Technology Systems, Madison, WI, David
 Freed, Ph.D., chief of psychology, Oregon State Hospital, Salem; and John
 Greist, MD, chief executive officer, Healthcare Technology Systems, and
 clinical professor of psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School,
 Madison. The checklist, developed with funding from Pfizer Inc. and Eisai
 Inc., makers of ARICEPT(R) (donepezil hydrochloride), is now available
 nationwide by calling 800-760-6029 or through local physicians' offices.
     "In the U.S., about 4 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's
 disease," said Gelblum.  "It's entirely possible that the actual number is
 much higher because there's an average delay of 3.5 to 5.5 years between
 symptom onset and diagnosis.  This checklist points out symptoms that are
 often ignored or overlooked and encourages people to seek help for their loved
 ones through further evaluation and appropriate treatment for Alzheimer's, if
 necessary."
     While there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, medical treatment is
 available to manage symptoms of the disease.  One prescription treatment is
 once-a-day ARICEPT(R) that can improve cognition and maintain patient function
 in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's. ARICEPT(R)(donepezil
 hydrochloride), the no. 1 prescribed Alzheimer's medication, is a clinically
 proven, well-tolerated, once-daily treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer's
 disease.
     "Once my mom started taking ARICEPT(R) we felt that the medication was
 able to keep her at a place where we still had our 'mother'," said Leeza
 Gibbons.  "In fact, her performance on the cognitive test she took the day she
 was diagnosed and her performance on the same test almost two years later had
 not changed.  We felt it was a major victory."
     In a progressively degenerative disease such as Alzheimer's, in addition
 to improvement, no further decline or a less-than-expected decline are
 considered positive treatment responses.  Improvement, no change and decline
 have been observed in patients treated with ARICEPT(R) in clinical trials.
 Individual responses to treatment may vary.
     It is estimated that 1 in 10 individuals older than age 65 has Alzheimer's
 disease.  Approximately 4 million Americans have been diagnosed; by the year
 2050, it is estimated that nearly 14 million will suffer from the disorder.
     In controlled clinical trials of up to six months, more than 80 percent of
 patients taking ARICEPT(R) experienced improved cognition or exhibited no
 further decline compared to 58 percent of patients on placebo.
     ARICEPT(R) is well tolerated, but some people do experience side effects
 like nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, vomiting, muscle cramps, fatigue, and loss of
 appetite.  In clinical studies, these effects were generally mild, temporary,
 and went away with continued use; two percent of people taking ARICEPT(R)
 experienced fainting.  People at risk for ulcers should tell their doctors
 because their condition may get worse.
     To date, more than 1.4 million people in the United States have received a
 prescription for ARICEPT(R), contributing to a total of 450 million days of
 patient use worldwide.
 
     For more information about managing Alzheimer's disease and about
 ARICEPT(R)(donepezil hydrochloride), please call the Eisai Inc.- and Pfizer
 Inc.-sponsored toll-free number, (888) 999-9616 or see http://www.aricept.com.
     Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc. are dedicated to advances in Alzheimer's
 therapy.  Full prescribing information attached and available at
 http://www.aricept.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X87217854
 
 

SOURCE Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc
    NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive Press Release/ -- When
 television/radio personality and Extra! host Leeza Gibbons' mother began to
 repeat herself, her family initially suspected a drinking problem.  "We
 started thinking, maybe she really can't have a glass of wine with dinner,"
 said Gibbons.  "She's not handling it very well.  Our real wakeup call came
 from mom herself when she told my dad, 'I've paid this bill three times.
 Something's not right.'"
     Memory problems such as those Gibbons describes can be more than
 frustrating -- they may be early signs of something more serious such as
 Alzheimer's disease and an indication to look for answers.  Now, families
 concerned with the memory lapses of a loved one can complete the Memory
 Problems Checklist and share it with a physician to assist in patient
 evaluation.
     As the daughter and granddaughter of women diagnosed with Alzheimer's
 disease, Gibbons understands the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.
 "I think my mom was more sensitive to the fact that something was wrong
 because she saw her own mother struggle with Alzheimer's," Gibbons said.
 "Other families may not have the same level of awareness."
     "The Memory Problems Checklist, a quick and easy questionnaire that can be
 completed in the privacy of the home, helps families identify concerns about
 memory problems they've observed in someone for whom they care and discuss
 these concerns with their doctor," said Jeffrey Gelblum, MD, associate
 professor of Neurology, University of Miami.  "Early diagnosis and appropriate
 treatment of Alzheimer's disease may slow the progression of symptoms,
 offering patients additional time at a higher level of cognitive function, and
 frankly, for Alzheimer's disease patients and their families, time together is
 precious."
     The 11-question checklist takes only minutes to complete and can help
 family members and their physicians in the evaluation of memory problems, or
 possibly early symptoms of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease represents
 the majority.  While the checklist does not offer a diagnosis, responses to
 the questions may further reinforce the need for a visit to a doctor's office
 for a complete evaluation, diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
     The checklist also provides a starting point for discussion among
 patients, families and physicians with questions such as, "Does he/she need
 reminders to do things like chores, shopping, or taking medicine?" In any
 case, individuals are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns with a
 healthcare professional.
     The Memory Problems Checklist was developed and validated by James Mundt,
 Ph.D., research scientist, Healthcare Technology Systems, Madison, WI, David
 Freed, Ph.D., chief of psychology, Oregon State Hospital, Salem; and John
 Greist, MD, chief executive officer, Healthcare Technology Systems, and
 clinical professor of psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School,
 Madison. The checklist, developed with funding from Pfizer Inc. and Eisai
 Inc., makers of ARICEPT(R) (donepezil hydrochloride), is now available
 nationwide by calling 800-760-6029 or through local physicians' offices.
     "In the U.S., about 4 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's
 disease," said Gelblum.  "It's entirely possible that the actual number is
 much higher because there's an average delay of 3.5 to 5.5 years between
 symptom onset and diagnosis.  This checklist points out symptoms that are
 often ignored or overlooked and encourages people to seek help for their loved
 ones through further evaluation and appropriate treatment for Alzheimer's, if
 necessary."
     While there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, medical treatment is
 available to manage symptoms of the disease.  One prescription treatment is
 once-a-day ARICEPT(R) that can improve cognition and maintain patient function
 in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's. ARICEPT(R)(donepezil
 hydrochloride), the no. 1 prescribed Alzheimer's medication, is a clinically
 proven, well-tolerated, once-daily treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer's
 disease.
     "Once my mom started taking ARICEPT(R) we felt that the medication was
 able to keep her at a place where we still had our 'mother'," said Leeza
 Gibbons.  "In fact, her performance on the cognitive test she took the day she
 was diagnosed and her performance on the same test almost two years later had
 not changed.  We felt it was a major victory."
     In a progressively degenerative disease such as Alzheimer's, in addition
 to improvement, no further decline or a less-than-expected decline are
 considered positive treatment responses.  Improvement, no change and decline
 have been observed in patients treated with ARICEPT(R) in clinical trials.
 Individual responses to treatment may vary.
     It is estimated that 1 in 10 individuals older than age 65 has Alzheimer's
 disease.  Approximately 4 million Americans have been diagnosed; by the year
 2050, it is estimated that nearly 14 million will suffer from the disorder.
     In controlled clinical trials of up to six months, more than 80 percent of
 patients taking ARICEPT(R) experienced improved cognition or exhibited no
 further decline compared to 58 percent of patients on placebo.
     ARICEPT(R) is well tolerated, but some people do experience side effects
 like nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, vomiting, muscle cramps, fatigue, and loss of
 appetite.  In clinical studies, these effects were generally mild, temporary,
 and went away with continued use; two percent of people taking ARICEPT(R)
 experienced fainting.  People at risk for ulcers should tell their doctors
 because their condition may get worse.
     To date, more than 1.4 million people in the United States have received a
 prescription for ARICEPT(R), contributing to a total of 450 million days of
 patient use worldwide.
 
     For more information about managing Alzheimer's disease and about
 ARICEPT(R)(donepezil hydrochloride), please call the Eisai Inc.- and Pfizer
 Inc.-sponsored toll-free number, (888) 999-9616 or see http://www.aricept.com.
     Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc. are dedicated to advances in Alzheimer's
 therapy.  Full prescribing information attached and available at
 http://www.aricept.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X87217854
 
 SOURCE  Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc