As National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, November spotlights the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. A condition that affects one in eight older Americans, Alzheimer’s disease takes a physical, emotional and financial toll as well on the families, friends and communities of those who suffer from it. “SharecareNow 10: Alzheimer’s Disease” celebrates the individuals driving important conversations about the disease, providing information, support and answers to patients and caregivers alike.

Elayne Forgie, President of  The Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center of  West Palm Beach was chosen as #3 and asked to lead a top 10 panel discussion about Alzheimer’s disease held on Facebook last Monday night. Over 300 people joined the conversation.

ATLANTA, GA, and SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – Nov 5, 2012) – Representing a diverse group of caregivers, celebrities, reporters and bloggers, the Top 10 Online Influencers in Alzheimer’s Disease list was released today in an effort to provide valuable information and resources to the millions affected by the disease, as well as those caring for them.

“Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a physically, emotionally and financially challenging experience, making access to reliable information about various stages of the disease all the more important,” said Kevin Soden, MD, MPH, Sharecare editorial advisory board. “Recognizing the most influential and credible individuals in this field during November’s Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month serves as a powerful opportunity for us to support not only those diagnosed with the disease but also their loved ones and caregivers.”

To further support the Alzheimer’s community, Sharecare today announced the addition of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) to its network of experts. As a new content collaborator, AFA will address topics about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, including how to care for a loved one with the disease. According to the AFA, 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease and as many as four family members may act as caregivers for each individual with the disease.

To be included in the SharecareNow 10 – Alzheimer’s Disease list, individuals must have demonstrated a consistent impact on Alzheimer’s-specific conversations online over the past year. Top influencers have an active online presence across multiple interactive channels — including Twitter, Facebook, video and blogs — and address a wide range of Alzheimer’s topics, including symptoms, treatment and care. Influence is measured and quantified through a proprietary algorithm based on more than 70 individual metrics, including Alzheimer’s disease relevance, syndication, presence and reach.

The following top influencers make up the SharecareNow 10 – Alzheimer’s Disease list:

1. Lori La Bey – AlzheimersSpeaks.com

  • Founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks and host of the radio show Alzheimer’s Speaks

2. Leeza Gibbons – LeezaGibbons.com

  • Advocate for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers and founder of Leeza’s Place; former host of Entertainment Tonight and current host of America Now

3. Elayne Forgie – AlzheimersCareAtHome.com

  • President and CEO of Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center and founder of ElderCare at Home and AlzheimersTraining.com

4. Sherri Snelling – blog.alz.org

  • Founder and CEO of the Caregiving Club, Chairman of the National Alliance for Caregiving and Senior Director at Evercare, an extension of the UnitedHealth Group

5. Gina Kolata – NYTimes.com

6. Stefanie Bonigut, MSW – alznorcalblog.org

  • Social worker and Family Care Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association

7. Elizabeth Nolan Brown – blog.aarp.org

  • Associate editor to the women’s health and wellness site Blisstree.com and contributor to the AARP Blog

8. Bob DeMarco – AlzheimersReadingRoom.com

  • Alzheimer’s caregiver and founder of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, a site devoted to educating and empowering Alzheimer’s caregivers, families and the wider Alzheimer’s community

9. Carol O’Dell – caroldodell.wordpress.com

  • Author of the blog “Caregiving, Mothering Mother and More,” contributing editor at Caring.com and author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

10. Rose Lamatt – RoseLamatt.com

  • Blogger and author of Just a Word: Friends Encounter Alzheimer’s and Is Life One Big Goodbye; contributing writer for the Alzheimer’s Reading Room

A downloadable version of the SharecareNow 10 – Alzheimer’s Disease list can be found here: http://www.sharecare.com/static/sharecarenow-alzheimers-top-ten-infographic. Additional information, including full bios and the methodology behind the influencer list, is available at http://now.sharecare.com.

About SharecareNow, powered by WCG
SharecareNow, powered by WCG, was developed in partnership with Sharecare, the health and wellness social media platform, and WCG, a market-leading digital communications agency. Sharecare Now, powered by WCG, is an online platform developed to access real-time analytics on various health topics, conversations and influencers, and to use these insights to meaningfully impact the conversation through strategic engagement. The platform allows health and wellness professionals, organizations and brands to leverage the most accurate data, solutions and best practices to participate in the social service of expert health and wellness content and communities.

About Sharecare
Sharecare is a health and wellness social media platform that connects people with top-ranking experts, ranging from doctors and specialists to hospitals, healthcare companies and health-conscious consumers. The power behind the site’s unique Q&A format is its collective wisdom, providing health-seeking consumers with answers reflecting multiple expert perspectives — greatly simplifying the search for quality information. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice — simply said, sharing care. Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta, GA.