Alzheimer's disease plaque. (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Photo/James Eberwine)

An Alzheimer’s disease advisory panel is about to decide what it wants to say about how the United States should fight Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia.

The Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services – an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — will meet April 17 at the HHS offices in Washington to review a draft of a national plan for attacking Alzheimer’s disease.

Council members may vote at the end of the meeting on the recommendations the council will send to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The council will be taking written comments, and it will allow members of the public speak.

Congress included the provisions creating the advisory council in the National Alzheimer’s Project Act of 2011 (NAPA). The council is supposed to help HHS come up with a plan for preventing and curing Alzheimer’s by 2025, and for improving supports for people with dementia and their relatives.

The draft plan includes provisions for increasing Alzheimer’s research funding and encouraging people to plan for the risk that they might need long-term care. The draft briefly mentions that idea that the government could encourage people to buy private long-term care insurance.

Members of the public who want to speak at the meeting are supposed to register by April 11.

HHS plans to show a video of the meeting live at http://www.hhs.gov/live.