A special panel has been formed to look closer at Alzheimer's Disease and its impact on Garden State Residents.

State Senator Christopher Connors (R) (Connors.senatenj.com)

Senator Christopher J. Connors (R) has been named to the Alzheimer's Disease Study Commission, which held its inaugural meeting on September 24 at the  State Department of Human Services building in Trenton.

The Commission, which was proposed by the Alzheimer's Association Greater Chapter of New Jersey, was  established through legislation sponsored by 9th District Representatives Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf, Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove and Senator Connors.

The State law authored by Connors, Rumpf and Gove requires the Commission to study the current impact and incidence of Alzheimer's disease among  State residents and make projections about the future impact and incidence among State residents.

Further, the Commission will study the state's role in  long-term care, family caregiver support and assistance to persons with early stage and early onset of Alzheimer's disease.  The needs of persons with  Alzheimer's disease, their family members and caregivers will also be a primary focus of the Commission as it assesses the availability and affordability of  existing services, programs, facilities and agencies to meet those needs.

The 9th District Lawmakers issued the following statement on the first meeting of the Alzheimer's Disease Study Commission being held:  "The overall goal of the Commission is to establish a comprehensive framework for our state to develop a more effective means of treating persons suffering  with Alzheimer's and assisting their family members who play roles as active caregivers.  Statistics show that, in 2010, Alzheimer's was the 6th leading  cause of death in the United States.  In that year, 83,494 Americans died of Alzheimer's, with 1,878 deaths in New Jersey.

"According to the report from the Alzheimer's Association, entitled 2009 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, it is estimated that 5.3 million persons in  the United States currently have Alzheimer's disease.  By 2010, there will be nearly a half million new cases of Alzheimer's disease each year.  More  alarming, it is projected that by 2050 that there will be nearly a million new cases per year and between 11 and 16 million persons with Alzheimer's disease.   Unquestionably, New Jersey requires a long-term plan for providing the necessary wide-ranging services associated with Alzheimer's, as evidenced by the  sheer magnitude of these staggering projections.

"By design, the Commission's membership is composed of persons who have direct experience with the range of complicated issues associated with Alzheimer's,  including three health care professionals, a member of the clergy with experience in providing emotional and spiritual care and a practicing attorney with  expertise in legal and financial planning for the elderly.  We look forward to working with the Commission's members in this incredibly important endeavor to  ensure that the necessary resources are in place to improve treatment for those suffering with Alzheimer's."