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UNC Researchers Receive Grants to Improve Alzheimer's Care

Thursday, October 16, 2008- Two University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine researchers have been awarded a $540,000, three-year grant for a project aimed at increasing the number of doctors in North Carolina with expertise in treating patients with Alzheimers dementia.

Daniel Kaufer, M.D., associate professor of neurology, and Philip Sloane, M.D., Elizabeth and Oscar Goodwin Distinguished Professor in the department of family medicine, received the grant from the Duke Endowment.

The project will help train community physicians across the state to deal with dementia issues, which affect approximately 140,000 people in North Carolina. The project will also expand the UNC Memory Disorders Clinics ability to provide multidisciplinary clinical care, training and research; increase outreach to consumers and non-medical professionals; implement a Web-based system giving community medical practitioners access to state-of-the-art clinical tools and knowledge-based materials; and establish a statewide clinical dementia registry.

The researchers said the initiatives would target the special needs of dementia caregivers and health-care providers in underserved areas. The project will double the capacity of the UNC Memory Disorders Clinic to serve North Carolinians; directly train 36 primary care physician leaders, who will in return train other local physicians; provide educational outreach training to 1,500 consumers and non-medical professionals, plus 240 non-physician medical professionals; train about 125 clinicians using Web-based programs; and enroll 150 patients and 20 primary care providers in a statewide registry.

A second grant, from the United States Agency on Aging, will provide an additional $300,000 to allow the Carolina Alzheimer's Center to partner with state and regional service providers to expand their respite care and services to people with early stage dementia.

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