A Call for Funding for Alzheimer's Research

 Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

 This is interesting.  At a time when partisanship seems to have reached a high in the US political process, at least one prominent Republican is calling for an increase in spending.

Specifically, as reported by NBC News, Newt Gingrich is making the case for dramatically increasing funding for AD research.  I am sure that is not a popular position with his party, but it is the right long-term perspective.

To reiterate some statistics that are widely published, we spent about $6B of federal funds last year on cancer research, about $3B on HIV research, and only $500M on AD research.  All are worthy causes, but the AD program is clearly underfunded.

This is especially true when considering the full economic argument that shows the enormous cost of caring for patients with diminished cognitive capacity.  It is well documented that once memory and judgment begin to slip, patients become less effective at administering self-care, and their chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension often spiral out of control.  This leads to poor health and stark increases in the costs of their care.

Spending on AD research can not only accelerate our progress toward better treatments but can facilitate a return to sustainability for the US health care system.

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