Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, recently wrote an impassioned editorial trying to get people involved in the fight to cure Alzheimer’s. Here are excerpts from that article, courtesy of the Huffington Post:
“More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, and that number is set to triple in just over a generation.
“While devastatingly common, Alzheimer’s is still widely misunderstood.
“Many people do not realize there is not yet a way to stop or even slow the progression of this fatal disease. The brain is extremely complex, and we need a better understanding of what makes it healthy — and unhealthy — if we hope to one day effectively treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
“The only avenue to a better understanding of brain health and Alzheimer’s disease is research… We have seen from the impressive successes in heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS among others that investing in research yields life-altering treatments and prevention. The scientific community is in agreement that if given the right opportunities, the same successes could be seen in Alzheimer’s research. With sufficient research we can reasonably hope — no, expect — to have our first Alzheimer’s survivor. Without adequate research we will remain at the mercy of this disease…
“The Alzheimer’s Association and its advocates worked tirelessly to secure the inclusion of the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act in the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that was signed into law last month. At the request of Congress, the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act establishes a mechanism for connecting scientists directly with Congress to help them determine appropriate funding levels to be provided to succeed at the U.S. government’s National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and its specific objective to successfully treat and prevent Alzheimer’s by 2025. We are now primed for the expert insight of the Alzheimer’s scientific community to finally be heard in 2015.
“Ending Alzheimer’s disease is critical to the health of America. To learn more about Alzheimer’s, other dementia, and how you can join us in the fight, visit alz.org.”