Article: The Mind Recovery Act - Why Obama's "War on Alzheimer's" may pay off
This article struck my fancy because I have worked in the healthcare field, specifically with alzheimer's patients. I have also attended a lecture regarding studies done on Alzheimer's disease. This disease and potential treatments fascinate me and I am keeping my fingers crossed that a cure will be found by Obama's date of 2025. The author says, "Government declarations of war on drugs or disease often end in losing battles. That is why some neuroscientists have greeted the Obama administration’s goal of preventing or treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 with skepticism." (1) While I understand the author's concern about declarations leading to losing battles, I also believe that speaking out against drugs and disease can lead to positive change.
Last semester in my Biostatistics class, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture from a member of the Cache County Study on Memory Health and Aging. It is a collaborative group of studies with researchers at Utah State University, Duke University Medical Center and The John Hopkins University. This study is conducted in Cache County, Utah and is designed to examine genetic and environmental factors associated with risk for Alzheimer's disease. This study has been going for longer than 16 years and has enrolled over 5000 residents of the county. The reason the study is conducted here is because Cache County elderly have longer life expectancy than other areas of the United States, make it a prime location for the study. The project investigated three important assumptions which are first, certain genes may influence Alzheimer dementia in old age, second, Alzheimer's has a maximum occurrence near 80 years of age and then decreases and third, specific environmental factors may reduce Alzheimer dementia before the age of 85. (2)