Letter to the editor
Today, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's and more than 15 million serving as unpaid caregivers. As the most expensive disease in America at an estimated cost
of $259 billion annually, Alzheimer's
is at risk to break the health care bank.
The immediate need for advances in prevention and treatment methods has led to an unprecedented need for volunteers for clinical trials and other research studies. Recruiting and retaining trial participants is now the greatest obstacle, other than funding, to developing new and better treatments for Alzheimer's disease.
With an extensive family history of Alzheimer's, I have lived with the devastation, heartbreak and fear that this disease brings to a family. The prevention, treatment and cure for Alzheimer's will only come with the help of the world community. I participate in a clinical trial to help find these solutions for my children and grandchildren. I do not want them to live with the fear of developing this disease as I have. Clinical trials include people with and without symptoms of dementia and they can be for drug therapy or for lifestyle impact. There is a small time commitment, but the personal satisfaction you feel for helping your family and your community is so worth it!
In July, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee proposed a $400 million increase for Alzheimer's research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for fiscal year 2018.
Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and the entire Oregon delegation should be commended for their ongoing support for Alzheimer's research. It is my hope that they will continue to work with their colleagues to ensure Congress increases Alzheimer's research funding.
I encourage everyone to learn more by visiting www.alz.org/oregon.