Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s takes time and money | Home Care Assistance Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s takes time and money | Home Care Assistance
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Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s takes time and money

Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Sandra Day O’Connor, Stanley Prusiner and Ken Dychtwald recently wrote an interesting opinion piece for the New York Times.  It calls for Congress to get the ball rolling on a national strategic plan for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s that would be federally financed.  They explain, “If we could simply postpone the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by five years, a large share of nursing home beds in the United States would empty. And if we could eliminate it, as Jonas Salk wiped out polio with his vaccine, we would greatly expand the potential of all Americans to live long, healthy and productive lives — and save trillions of dollars doing it.”

An interesting point brought up in the article is the amount of money spent on Alzheimer’s research compared to AIDS research.  Starting in the mid-1980s, it took ten years and around ten billion dollars to create the antiretroviral therapy that makes AIDS a more manageable disease; the medications have also added $1.4 trillion to the American economy.  Still, to this day, the National Institute of Health spends about $3 billion a year on AIDS research, whereas they only spend $469 million on Alzheimer’s research despite the fact that affects, “five times as many victims.”

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