Frontline Medical News embarks on a new offering designed to address the complexities that physicians face when treating complex patients with chronic conditions.

“Alzheimer’s: The Journey of a Thousand Steps”, the first of the “Journey” websites, addresses a growing clinical disorder at the intersection of research, treatment, practice, and healthcare policy and costs. The disorder is important to clinicians as one-third of the elderly people in this country die with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. The personal and economic costs to patients and their families—and our society–are enormous and growing with the impending “silver tsunami” of aging baby boomers. The disease likely has many precipitating pathologies, and no consensus about where or when to interrupt the mechanisms – or even which ones to target. The site offers physicians the latest information about emerging methods of diagnosis and therapies that slow disease progression for their aging patients as well as a place to direct patients’ caregivers for gain insights and share their experiences.

“Alzheimer’s: The Journey of a Thousand Steps” puts perspective on the experiences of physicians, researchers, health care advocates, politicians, and caregivers. It is a living record, updated with the latest research and clinical news. It is a political and social record, documenting both the government and grassroots struggles to cope with the disease’s impact. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is a personal record, documenting the hopes, the struggles, and the courage of families as they learn to live – and die – with Alzheimer’s.

The Journey project was researched and created by a team of experienced reporters who are passionate about personal story-telling and committed to scientific accuracy. Its Medical Editors are Dr. Richard J. Caselli, professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and clinical core director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and Dr. Michael S. Wolfe, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. Michele G. Sullivan, a Frontline staff reporter, is the Executive Producer. The winner of 32 state and national awards for feature, news, and editorial writing and for newspaper design, Michele has more than 25 years of experience in journalism. Her report on a 2006 study of a failed Alzheimer’s drug trial was the first step on her own journey to understand this devastating disease. Follow her on Twitter @alzgal.