Over the course of the last 5 years, all of us here at Cure Alzheimer’s Fund have been saying the same thing – Alzheimer’s is a national disaster, an encroaching tsunami that has the potential to bankrupt our entire health care system.
And, if you’ve been following the news this week, you’ve likely seen the recent Alzheimer’s Association report portraying this very same message.
Yes, we all agree – Alzheimer’s disease is a national imperative. In fact, a YEAR ago, we released our plan for a national strategy to end Alzheimer’s disease. As no other group has done, we called for a 10 year funding strategy of $5 billion per year and laid out a roadmap for exactly how that money should be spent -- because it’s not simply a fundraising battle. It’s just as important to know how to spend the resources most efficiently to find a cure. See our National Strategic Plan on our website at www.curealzfund.org.
$5 billion per year for research? In these economic times? YES.
As the just-released report says, within the next 10 years, the US government will spend $20 trillion on care for Alzheimer’s through Medicare and Medicaid. That’s roughly 400 times what we spend on the research that will one day find the cure to this devastating disease. Until we re-balance that equation, we will NEVER change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease.
If we spend $5 billion per year for 10 years, that still doesn’t even come close to the ever-increasing cost of paying for the consequences of the disease. $50 billion vs. $20 Trillion. Which would you rather spend?
Of course we have to care for people with the disease; but we also have to dramatically increase the money we spend on research AND target that money strategically for the fastest way to a cure. More money is one key; but more clear thinking about how to spend the money is the other imperative.
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has a plan. So far, by following our roadmap, we have supported research that has identified over 100 genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a project the government has been working on for years. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support has also helped validate the “oligomer” theory of Alzheimer’s pathology that shows that clumps of the Abeta peptide (oligomers) are the toxic entity that damages the synapses within the brain, not the well-known plaques.
And just recently, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supported research has proposed a whole new paradigm for understanding Alzheimer’s pathology by pointing to the Abeta peptide, once believed to be only “junk” involved in causing Alzheimer’s disease, as actually part of the innate immune system!
Targeted research, well supported by public and private sources, is the only way we will “change the trajectory” of Alzheimer’s disease.
Thank you to those who have joined with us to support this kind of groundbreaking research, and welcome to those who join us now. Now is the time!