By using online communication the neuroscientists of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) hope to engage the general public and physicians in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases, while helping caregivers cope with these devastating illnesses.
It can be difficult for affected people to navigate the medical system to get a diagnosis of a relatively rare neurodegenerative disease and, later, to implement the necessary care-giving strategies in their home. A public forum dedicated to educating the public about all aspects of neurodegenerative diseases could address this problem.
The channel is intended to increase awareness among patients, their families - and physicians - about the various forms of dementia, with the goal of promoting earlier diagnoses and getting more patients into research studies and clinical trials. The site is also intended to educate caregivers, and provide support through caregiver testimonials.
“If we can promote accurate diagnoses of patients, we can get them into clinical trials sooner. We believe that early intervention with novel therapies will be key to stalling and halting these diseases." says Bruce Miller, MD, director of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.
Additionally, the scientists have created an electronic badge, or "widget," containing links to the YouTube channel and the UCSF Memory and Aging Center web site that will allow people to spread the word about the initiative via email and websites, including disease-education associations. They have also created a Facebook group, "Defeat Dementia."
MEDICA.de; Source: University of California