I recently read an Op-Ed piece that did the best job I’ve seen of explaining why it’s crucial for the United States to more aggressively find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
In The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, writer Kerry Lonergan Luksic compared Alzheimer’s to a Category 5 hurricane “barreling toward America’s shoreline.” Even with that storm looming, the United States is taking “minimal action to prepare.”
The article notes that with baby boomers aging, by 2050 as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s. Those people are going to sorely strain the nation’s health care system, with the cost of treating them rising from $200 billion to $1 trillion, according to the Op-Ed piece.
Even though President Obama has signed a National Alzheimer’s Project Act into law, it hasn’t made much headway yet.
Here’s what Luksic, whose own mother had Alzheimer’s, had to say about the half-hearted effort to find a cure:
“Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death and second-most feared disease,” she wrote. “And it remains underfunded. Last year, the U.S. government spent $6 billion on cancer research and $3 billion on AIDS/HIV. By contrast, Alzheimer’s was allocated $450 million.”
Luksic’s Op-Ed piece, headlined “Call to Action for Alzheimer’s,” makes a cogent case for giving Alzheimer’s research the funding it deserves. Give it a read.