Burden Of Care For Alzheimer’s Disease Rising Fast

Neurodegenerative Disease The Fastest-Growing Cause Of Death

Someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds. There were an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia diagnoses in 2015 and this number is believed to be close to 50 million people in 2017. This number will almost double every 20 years, reaching 75 million in 2030 and 131.5 million in 2050. The X factor is the number of people who have dementia, but have not been diagnosed. It’s estimated that the real number is drastically higher.

Much of the increase will be in developing countries. Already 58 percent of people with dementia live in low and middle income countries, but by 2050 this will rise to 68 percent.

The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is US$818 billion in 2015, which represents 1.09 percent of global GDP. By 2018, the global cost of dementia will rise above a US$1 trillion.

This figure includes costs attributed to informal care (unpaid care provided by family and others), direct costs of social care (provided by community care professionals, and in residential home settings) and the direct costs of medical care (the costs of treating dementia and other conditions in primary and secondary care).

In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that Alzheimer’s disease is already costing citizens $277 billion annually, including $186 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. 

Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease as recorded on death certificates increased 123 percent, while deaths from the number one cause of death (heart disease) decreased 11 percent. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease isn’t always diagnosed and it isn’t accurately reported as the cause of death in the majority of cases. Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

Alzheimers disease epidemic

Direct medical care costs account for roughly 20 percent of global dementia costs, while direct social sector costs and informal care costs each account for roughly 40 percent. The relative contribution of informal care is greatest in the African regions and lowest in North America, Western Europe and some South American regions, while the reverse is true for social sector costs.

This means that if global dementia care were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world. The annual costs exceed the market values of companies such as Apple (US $742 billion) and Google (US $368 billion).

Research shows that most people currently living with dementia have not received a formal diagnosis. In high income countries, only 20-50 percent of dementia cases are recognised and documented in primary care. This ‘treatment gap’ is certainly much greater in low and middle income countries, with one study in India suggesting 90 percent remain undiagnosed. If these statistics are extrapolated to other countries worldwide, it suggests that approximately three quarters of people with dementia have not received a diagnosis, and therefore do not have access to treatment, care and organized support that getting a formal diagnosis can provide.

Earlier diagnosis and early intervention are important mechanisms by which the treatment gap can be closed. Among all people alive today, if those who will get Alzheimer’s disease were diagnosed when they had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — before dementia — it would save trillions of dollars in health and long-term care costs.

Alzheimer's disease prevention

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform gary@crossbow1.com.

Deaths From Neurological Disease Rising Sharply

Neurodegenerative Disease The Fastest-Growing Cause Of Death

By Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D.

A new study that was recently published in the journal Surgical Neurology International confirms what I wrote about several years ago — that the incidence of neurological disease and the deaths from these disorders has risen dramatically in the last few decades.

Alzheimer's disease treatment

This study, which examined death rates from all neurological disorders from 1989 to 2010, found that there was a dramatic increase that affected both male and female Americans between the ages of 55 and 74. It also tracked those people who were 75 and older.

In the 55-74 age group in America, neurological deaths increased 82 percent among males and 48 percent in females. In the same age group from other countries, the rate increased just two percent and one percent, respectively.

For those over age 75 outside of the U.S., the incidence of neurological deaths for males and females rose 117 and 143 percent, respectively. However, for the same population in the United States, those death rates increased an astounding 368 for men and 663 percent for women.

This dramatic rise in neurological deaths was not a common phenomenon associated with other diseases. Over the same period, death rates with other diseases, such as strokes, heart attacks, and cancer actually dropped.

The authors of the paper concluded that this drastic rise in neurological deaths was due to environmental causes, which include:

  • Increased exposure to industrial and agricultural chemicals;
  • Widespread use of the pesticide Round-up;
  • Elevated exposure to mercury, aluminum, and other toxic metals; and
  • Poor diets featuring high sugar and high intakes of oxidized vegetable oils.

Fortunately, we are finding that a change in diet, avoiding exposure to these toxic chemicals, and using special plant extracts, as well as vitamins and minerals can significantly reduce the risk of death from neurological disorders.

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Read more: Neurological Disorders and Mortality

Alzheimer’s Disease Surging Across Scandinavia

Sewage Sludge Contaminating Food, Water

Alzheimer’s disease is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. People living across Scandinavia have some of the highest prevalence of the disease in the world.

At least 50 million people already have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It’s vastly undiagnosed and misdiagnosed. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, doctors are withholding millions of additional diagnoses in the United States, so we don’t know the extent of the epidemic in America, but the incidence likely rivals Finland.

Alzheimer's disease and caregivers

According to recent studies, Finland has the highest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the world. Iceland and Sweden aren’t far behind. It could be that Finland is doing a better job of screening, diagnosing and offering honest assessments.

What can we learn from these regional variations? What are the common threads that can help us unravel the causes of neurological disease?

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Deaths/100K

1.   Finland                     34.9
2.  Iceland                      25.1
3.  United States           24.8
4.  Sweden                     21.5
5.  Netherlands             21.4
6.  Switzerland              20.0
7.  Cuba                           19.6
8.  Chile                          19.6
9.  Andorra                     19.4
10.  Spain                        18.7
11.  Norway                     18.6
12.  Uruguay                   17.5
13.  Denmark                  17.4
14.  United Kingdom    17.1
15.  France                      16.6

Although there are many causes of Alzheimer’s disease and related neurological diseases, the Baltic Sea region is a microcosm worth studying. The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted bodies of water on the planet. Much of the pollution originates upstream and on land, but tons of it are dumped directly in the sea.

biosolids land application contaminates food water

It’s infectious waste. Raw sewage and sewage sludge. Waste from morgues, hospitals, nursing homes, slaughter houses, veterinarians and the homes of millions of people who have brain disease and other infectious diseases. This infectious waste is being dumped on open land as fertilizer. It’s contaminating food, water, air and more in most countries.

The Problem With Prions

In order to understand the threat, one must understand the dynamics of this neurological disease. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is a member of an aggressive family (spectrum) of neurodegenerative diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE)The operative word is “transmissible.”

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

TSEs include Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease in deer. Few, if any, mammals are immune. There is no cure. There is no species barrier. 

TSEs are caused by a deadly protein called a prion (PREE-on). Prion disease is unstoppable and the pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. Prions are in the blood, saliva, urine, feces, mucus, and bodily tissue of its victims, including skin.

“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”

Prions linger in the environment infinitely because they defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation. They spread uncontrollably within victims and within the environment. They know no borders. Unlike radiation, however, prions do not deplete themselves. Unlike cancer, there is no cure. Prions migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with unparalleled efficiency. Each victim becomes an incubator and a distributor of the unstoppable pathogen.

“The (human) brain diseases caused by prions include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and other disorders known as frontotemporal dementias,” said Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, who earned a Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1997 for discovering deadly prions.

prion disease spectrum

Prion disease is a spectrum disease because of its many mutations and genetic resistance. Some prions can kill people within weeks of exhibiting clinical symptoms, while others can take years. Others may not fall victim to the disease, but can still carry the pathogen internally and externally. Victims become infectious long before they appear sick. Their bodily fluids proceed to contaminate the world around them.

Since prion disease is a spectrum disease, doctors can’t tell the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and CJD. It’s a process of elimination and a shot in the dark.

“Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease behaves like Alzheimer’s disease on steroids,” said Dr. Jennifer Majersik, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Utah.

According to neuroscientists Dr. Laura Manuelidis, at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are not Alzheimer’s disease. These misdiagnoses are actually CJD, which is further up the prion spectrum. CJD, without dispute, is extremely infectious to caregivers and loved ones. Millions of cases of deadly CJD are being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Millions of patients and caregivers are being misinformed, misguided and exposed to an aggressive disease. Misdiagnosis and misinformation regarding prion disease is a matter of life and death. The mismanagement doesn’t end here.

The only definitive diagnosis comes with an autopsy, which rarely happens with neurological disease (concerns over deadly contamination). All doctors are guessing with each diagnosis based on the severity of the symptoms. This problem also complicates the search for accurate statistics about the size and scope of the epidemic.

Unfortunately for caregivers and family members, the protocol for patient care and caregiver safety are vastly different for Alzheimer’s patients and CJD patients. The double standards put many stakeholders at risk. It’s reckless to try to distinguish between prion diseases on the spectrum. In other words, treat people with Alzheimer’s disease as though they have CJD. Assume the worst and hope for the best. A deadly prion is a deadly prion.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

The Sewage Tsunami

Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to the prion disease epidemic, many pathways are being mismanaged. Thanks to sewage, biosolids, and reclaimed sewage water, we’re recycling the prion pathogen that causes Alzheimer’s and CJD right back into our food and water. Every sewage system in the world has been used by someone, if not millions, of people with Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Sewage systems are now prion incubators and distributors. Sewage sludge, wastewater, biosolids and other byproducts are highly lethal.

Thanks to more and more people dying from TSEs, and thanks to more and more sewage mismanagement, we’re dumping deadly pathogens on farms, parks, golf courses and school grounds. Rain and irrigation spread the prions throughout our communities, watersheds and into our oceans. Winds carries prion-laced dust into our communities, schools, offices and homes.

Dumping tons of sewage from millions of people on land and at sea spreads the prion pathogen far and wide. It’s a case of Pandora’s lunchbox. We’re contaminating our food and water supplies with our own sewage.

Alzheimer's disease Finland Sweden Iceland
Sewage and other contaminants dumped in the Baltic Sea are essentially trapped, where they continue to contribute to prion contamination.

Now, back to our Baltic story. The Baltic Sea is positioned in Northern Europe and bordered by Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, northeastern Germany, and eastern Denmark and its numerous islands. It’s the source of food for millions of people. Its watersheds provide drinking water for hundreds of communities, not to mention livestock, throughout the region. Unfortunately, pollution is killing the Baltic Sea and residents of the region.

“This is one of the world’s most polluted oceans,” said Fredrik Wulff, a professor of marine systems ecology at Stockholm University. “Because it’s an almost closed body of water, everything that’s dumped here stays for decades.”

Baltic Sea pollution

The untreated waste from the Russian city of Kaliningrad is part of the problem. Kaliningrad dumps about 150,000 cubic meters of raw sewage from 450,000 people into the sea every day. Most other coastal cities throughout the region dump even higher quantities of sewage, although it’s treated slightly. These treated wastewater facilities might help reduce solids and nitrogen, but nothing stops a prion in sewage.

“Kaliningrad is a medieval city that pours its waste into the gutter,” said Aleksandra Korolyova, a Kaliningrad-based activist with the Russian group Ekozashchita (Environmental Protection). “It’s just a black torrent that pours out of the pipe directly into the lagoon, and the lagoon is part of the sea.”

Poland’s waste compounds the problem. It accounts for 30 percent of emissions into the Baltic Sea. Sweden and Russia each dump in about 12 percent. The sewage pollution impacts everything between the point of dumping and the sea, including codfish, herring, shellfish and the people who eat them. The streams, rivers and groundwater are likely contaminated forever with sewage and prions, not to mention other toxins and carcinogens.

The entire region is swimming in sewage. Prion pollution from sewage also impacts the beaches and the people who play on them. It contaminates clothing and shoes. It contaminates boats of all sizes. Prions don’t need the help of mismanaged sewage to find pathways back to humans. Toxins in mismanaged sewage are contributing to cancer, endocrine system disruption and many other health issues.

Leaders in Alzheimer’s disease, Finland and Sweden dump their sewage into rivers and lakes, which is contaminating waterways and communities, while exposing families to various toxins and pathogens, including Pandora-like prions. This mismanagement is exposing millions of people, wildlife and livestock to the prion epidemic.

Towns and cities across the European Union are required to collect and treat their urban wastewater under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. In 2006, the European Commission took Finland and Sweden to the European Court of Justice for failing to ensure proper treatment of urban wastewater in a significant number of towns and cities. In 2010, Finland and Sweden again were cited for failing to install the proper infrastructure for collecting and treating urban wastewater. Unfortunately, sewage treatment of any sort doesn’t stop a prion, but sewage mismanagement is obviously an issue in the region and in these two countries, which are afflicted with abnormally high rates of neurodegenerative disorders.

“Finland and Sweden are rightly concerned about the state of the Baltic Sea. They can help make it healthier by improving their own wastewater treatment,” said EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.

cruise ships and sewage Baltic SeaCruise Ship Sewage Dumped At Sea

Cruise ships in the region also dump their sewage in the Baltic Sea. Last year, 261 international cruise ships pulled to port just in Helsinki. It’s legal to discharge untreated wastewater in international waters, as long as it is done at least twelve kilometers from the nearest coast. Finnish cruise lines stopped dumping wastewater in the Baltic in 2007.

In addition, Baltic countries generate about 3.5 million tons of dry sewage sludge every year. In the past, it was dumped in a variety of ways, including at sea. Sludge dumped into the Baltic has polluted the sea forever. Additional wastewater and sewage runoff just adds fuel to the fire.

Adding to the insanity, sewage sludge has been used in agriculture throughout the Baltic Sea Region for at least 40 years. It is used as a fertilizer. Unfortunately, crops and grass uptake prions and become infectious. The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland have forbidden or restricted the agricultural disposal of sewage sludge. They incinerate it. Finland and Norway, however, dump sludge on green areas of all sorts.

Europe alone spends more than 2.2 billion euros every year getting rid of sewage sludge. About 60 percent of it goes toward agriculture and landscaping applications. Disposing of it safely would cost billions more. The same goes for every nation on the planet. It’s better to protect corporate profits than people or the planet?

Sewage mismanagement is not limited to the Baltic Sea region. Virtually every coastal city in the world dumps sewage in the sea. Boston, for example, dumps about 500 million gallons of sewage off the coast of Cape Cod every day. Many more cities dump it in rivers, streams and on crops. Cattle graze on it. Thanks to the creative marketing of biosolids, kids play on it and gardeners are using this death dust at home.

People, wildlife, marine life and livestock around the world are caught in the crossfire. Failure to address these issues will cost billions of lives. The body count is already in the millions.

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Whales Are Bioindicators Of Neurological Disease In Iceland

Iceland is a different case study in sewage management and diet. It’s obviously not impacted by the problems of the Baltic Sea, but it could still serve as a canary in a coal mine.

First of all, Iceland is smart enough to not put sewage sludge on its farmlands. It disposes of it in landfills. Unfortunately, if these landfills aren’t capped and lined like a nuclear waste dump, water will leach through the prion pathogens and contaminate groundwater.

The main sources of sewage in Iceland are residential areas, fish processing, livestock, slaughtering, dairy industries, aquaculture, textile industries, tanning plants and some heavy industries. Both the industrial and domestic sewage is usually disposed through the same drainage into the sea. The majority of sewage in Iceland is released untreated into the ocean where it impacts coastal waters, fish, shellfish and waterfowl. It also could be impacting whales and dolphins. Even if the sewage were treated, the deadly prions would survive the process.

Hafnarfjordur, for example, is located on the coast just southwest of Reykjavik on the southwest coast of Iceland. The city of about 21,000 people has four sewage outlets that discharge directly into the bay where people fish, boat, golf and swim. Any sewage that escapes the bay is then driven up the western coast by the currents of the North Atlantic. Pardon my French, but it’s the equivalent of pissing into the wind. The damage done by sewage to Iceland’s coastal waters are well documented. Do you think that it’s contributing to the nation’s high rate of Alzheimer’s deaths? Do you think it’s a good idea to dump sewage where you eat and drink?

Neurological Disease In Whales

Whale meat also is a likely pathway that could be contributing to high rates of neurological disease in Nordic and Baltic nations. Whales and dolphins are vulnerable to prion disease. At least one dolphin has been found with prion disease, but testing is severely lacking. Since dietary factors are clearly linked to neurological disease, studying the correlation between diet and disease can help illuminate the prion problem.

As stated before, Alzheimer’s (and other diseases on the prion spectrum) are extremely high in the region. Pioneering research found that Parkinson’s patients on the Faroe Islands have consumed about six times more whale meat and blubber than their neighbors who don’t have the disease.

Maria Skaalum Petersen is working to shed light on the connection between sick seas, sick whales and the people who consume them. Petersen is a researcher in the Department of Occupational and Public Health in the Faroe Islands health service. One of her projects has included a comparison of the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (part of the TSE spectrum) in the Nordic countries.

whale meat and neurological disease
Maria Skaalum hit the tip of an iceberg by connecting the consumption of pilot whales to neurological disease.

She found that Parkinson’s disease is twice as prevalent on the Faroe Islands as in Norway and other Nordic countries. A traditional diet on the Faroe Islands typically includes pilot whale meat.

Predators, including some whales, are high on the food chain. Animals that consume predators are consuming the toxic build-up from every animal ever consumed. Therefore, these predators (and the people who consume them) often serve as an excellent indicator of the health of an entire ecosystem, including prion contamination.

Not all whales are created equal, though. The whale meat sold in Norway and Iceland is mostly from minke whales, a species that has a diet much lower in the food chain. This means they do not accumulate as many contaminants or prions as pilot whales. This means that the risks associated with whale meat is slightly less for the people in Norway. However, as you recall from the chart above, Norway still has a fairly high rate of neurological disease.

eating pilot whales causes Parkinson's disease

“The Faroe Islanders eat pilot whales, while Norwegians eat baleen whales. Pilot whales have teeth and primarily eat fish and squid, which puts them higher on the food chain,” Petersen says.

Baleen whales feed by filtering zooplankton and krill into their mouths as they swim. Eating lower on the food chain lowers their prion exposure, but it doesn’t make them immune to the prion problem. More importantly, this study indicates that there is prion accumulation in whales–some more than others. It indicates that prions are in our oceans and onward upstream. It indicates that prions are in our food and water supplies and reckless sewage management is contributing to the problem. It reminds us of the hazards associated with wastewater reuse, sewage sludge disposal and biosolids in our communities and watersheds.

Prions have already left Pandora’s box. It’s easy to spot areas of mismanagement. If we fail to connect the dots and react soon enough, it won’t matter. What can we learn from the Baltic Sea, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and whales? Prions are building up in the environment and in mammals now. Eating infected mammals spreads the disease up the food chain.

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Call 602-999-7204 (USA) or write to Gary Chandler to join our campaign and coalition for truth and reform. gary@crossbow1.com.

Switzerland Hosts International Summit On Alzheimer’s Disease

Accelerating Alzheimer’s Disease Research

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The main barriers to the development of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are an incomplete understanding of the disease, fragmented resources, and challenges with the design and implementation of clinical trials. Experts gathered at a two day meeting in Lausanne to discuss future steps to address dwindling product pipelines and to increase the productivity of drug development processes.

Alzheimer's disease treatment

Alzheimer’s disease is an increasing challenge. As our global population ages, the prevalence of the disease will skyrocket.  By 2050, experts estimate that 135 million people around the world will live with Alzheimer’s disease and the largest impact will be felt in low and-middle income countries.

At the workshop of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), entitled “Enhancing Translational Research and Clinical Development in Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementia: The Way Forward,” hosted by The Swiss Government and in cooperation with The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), participants shared ideas on how to ramp up drug and diagnostics development. The goal is to accelerate the translation of innovative research into effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Important opportunities include, for example, new clinical trial designs, a global clinical trial platform, and flexible regulatory processes. Treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease represents a cornerstone of current biomedical research and health innovation strategies.

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

The workshop is a follow-up event to the OECD Workshop on “Better Health through Biomedicine: Innovative Governance” that took place in Berlin, Germany in 2010.

“The OECD member states identified as key questions that need to be further addressed international collaboration towards more innovative research and adequate governance models to foster drug development. Neurodegenerative diseases and in particular Alzheimer’s Disease, which have become a major challenge for R &D and public health, are on the focus of the Lausanne workshop” stated Isabella Beretta, Chair of the OECD Working Party on Biotechnology and representative of the Swiss State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation.

Today’s meeting in Lausanne provided a unique opportunity for governments, international organizations, regulators, leading researchers, and the pharmaceutical industry to examine the challenges and opportunities and to encourage a move for greater innovation and collaboration. The output of the meeting will form the basis for a continuing dialogue among all stakeholders regarding the path forward in the development of safe and effective therapies to address this global unmet need. Plans for a follow-up meeting are currently underway.

biosolids land application contaminates food water

“The meeting produced an important dialogue regarding the challenges we face as we all work together in the shared effort to identify a disease-modifying drug by 2025,” stated Dirk Pilat, Deputy Director, Directorate for Science, Technology & Innovation at the OECD.  “OECD countries account for nearly half the global cases of dementia today and have a particular responsibility in accelerating efforts in the research, development and evaluation of innovative therapies and diagnostics.”

“This meeting is historic. It’s the first time that regulators, industry, scientists and patient advocates have gathered globally to tackle Alzheimer’s and dementia. We need more of these collaborations, reminiscent of HIV/AIDS meetings in the 1980s, if we are going to find a cure or prevention,” said George Vradenburg, Convener of the CEOi.  “Regulatory agencies across the globe are our partners in this fight and innovative regulatory models are needed to ensure that we can help those living with Alzheimer’s disease today and stop the disease for future generations.”

biosolids land application sewage sludge

“If we speed up the drug development process by one year potentially 8 million more people with dementia will have access to a new treatment,” said Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International. “One of the things we can do is engage people living with dementia and their care partners more into the process and learn from them how to make research participation more dementia-friendly. That will bring more people into the trials.”

“Dementia is a healthcare policy challenge and Switzerland has approved a National Dementia Strategy 2014-2017,” said Tania Dussey-Cavassini, Ambassador for Global Health, Vice-Director General of Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

“Switzerland is committed to work with national and international partners and industry and promoting collaboration in the fight against dementia,” added Isabella Beretta.

“Innovation is shaped through conversation and the conversation here at this meeting continues us down the right path of stopping Alzheimer’s by 2025,” said Dr. Dennis Gillings, World Dementia Envoy. “But if we don’t address the barriers in accelerating translation of innovation to therapies for patients we will not reach our goal.”

The meeting organizers and participants committed to continuing the dialogue and will reconvene to assess progress in a follow-up forum in 2015.

ADI is the international federation of 84 Alzheimer associations throughout the world.  Each of our members is a non-profit Alzheimer association supporting people with dementia and their families.  ADI was founded in 1984 and registered as a non-profit organisation in the USA.  Based in London, ADI has been in official relations with the WHO since 1996 and has had consultative status with the UN since 2012.

ADI’s vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their family carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments.

The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) is a patient-powered industry coalition of private-sector leaders who have joined together to provide business leadership in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The CEO Initiative seeks to partner with public leaders to transform the disease from a social, health, and economic crisis into an opportunity for healthy aging and innovation in research and care.  In this era of aging populations, The CEO Initiative believes that it will take visionary, action-oriented leadership of public and private leaders working together to solve our greatest challenges.

The creation of a World Dementia Council was one of the main commitments made at the G8 dementia summit in December 2013. The council aims to stimulate innovation, development and commercialization of life enhancing drugs, treatments and care for people with dementia, or at risk of dementia, within a generation. It will do this by providing independent, non-governmental advocacy and global leadership.  The views expressed by the council will be independent of any government and not representative of government policy. The World Dementia Council met for the first time on April 30, 2014 to develop a global agenda to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

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Alzheimer’s Disease Mortality Underreported

Alzheimer’s Rarely Reported As Cause Of Death

A provocative new study has suggested that Alzheimer’s disease causes six times as many deaths as the official statistics would indicate. That makes an already alarming epidemic even more frightening.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that, in 2010, Alzheimer’s caused almost 84,000 deaths in the United States, a number derived from death certificates in which Alzheimer’s was listed as the main cause. But, in reality, the new study said Alzheimer’s was the underlying cause in more than 500,000 deaths in 2010 that were often attributed to conditions, such as pneumonia, caused by complications of Alzheimer’s. Those numbers would catapult Alzheimer’s from the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States to the third, behind heart disease and cancer.

The study was led by researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and recently published in the medical journal Neurology. The researchers analyzed data from more than 2,500 people ages 65 and older who had no dementia at the start and who agreed to annual clinical evaluations and cognitive tests. All agreed to donate their brains for autopsies after they died.

Alzheimer's disease infectious disease

Over an average of eight years of follow-up, 22 percent developed Alzheimer’s disease, 1 percent developed other forms of dementia and 42 percent died. The death rate was much higher among those who had developed Alzheimer’s than among those who had not. Extrapolating their findings to the entire population, the researchers came up with what they call a “crude” estimate that more than 500,000 deaths of Americans ages 75 and older in 2010 could be attributed to Alzheimer’s disease.

Experts at Centers for Disease Control noted that the study was small and the participants were healthier than average, which meant they were less likely to die from other diseases, before succumbing to Alzheimer’s. But even the experts agreed that the annual mortality from Alzheimer’s is probably higher than 84,000. In 2010, 309,000 death certificates listed Alzheimer’s or other dementias (many of which could have been Alzheimer’s) as one of the causes.

caregivers Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer’s is already a burden on caregivers and health care budgets. As more people live to advanced ages, it will become more of a burden. The rising toll makes it imperative to intensify research into ways to treat and prevent the disease.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/opinion/high-mortality-from-alzheimers-disease.html?_r=0

African-Americans More Likely To Have Alzheimer’s Than Whites

Blacks Less Likely To Receive Diagnosis

The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to raising awareness of this fatal brain disease and its warning signs in diverse populations during Black History Month and year round. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Facts and Figures report, African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia than whites but less likely to have a diagnosis.

Alzheimer's disease treatment

Many people dismiss the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, believing that they are merely a part of typical aging. While there are currently no treatments to stop or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, early detection and diagnosis can allow for earlier use of available treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help maintain independence longer.

Delays in diagnosis mean that African-Americans are not getting treatments when they are most likely to be effective at improving quality of life, as well as taking critical steps to educate themselves on Alzheimer’s and establish support networks.

The Alzheimer’s Association provides culturally and linguistically appropriate resources and materials for many diverse audiences, such as an African-American web portal that highlights information and issues that might be of concern to African-Americans.

Alzheimer’s Association 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease:

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.

4. Confusion with time or place.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.

8. Decreased or poor judgment.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.

10. Changes in mood and personality.

The Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter aims to raise awareness within the African-American community about Alzheimer’s through community education.  We believe that vital information about risk, symptoms, diagnosis and planning can be circulated effectively and offered to a large population of African-American constituents through faith-based partnerships.

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Our vision entails forging new relationships with churches and gaining access to their congregations during established meeting times (Bible study groups, small group meetings, etc.). Chapter staff will present two education programs (Know the Ten Signs: Early Detection Matters and The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease) – providing essential information to individuals and families.

In addition to our goal of making critical information available, we also hope to increase our African-American volunteer base. We will provide training to interested congregational members so they can become volunteer education presenters and/or caregiver support group facilitators. A new core of African American volunteers will better sustain our outreach efforts and enhance our provision of Association programs and services to our chapter constituents.

Source: http://www.heritage.com/articles/2014/02/04/ypsilanti_courier/news/doc52ec3bd98b821492373549.txt?viewmode=default

Alzheimer’s Disease A Global Threat

Alzheimer’s Epidemic Could Be Much Worse Than Reported 

Editor’s Note: More than 50 million people around the world already have deadly Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the only major cause of death in the world that is on the rise. The epidemic is spreading fast and there are no answers in sight. Global leaders are mobilizing to tackle the issue. Unfortunately, hope is elusive, but some steps can be taken to stop spreading prion disease from infected people, wildlife and livestock. That’s right, mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease are related to Alzheimer’s disease. There is no such thing as a species barrier when it comes to prion disease. All forms of the disease spread through the bodily fluids of infected victims and very little is being done to stop this exposure.

Alzheimer's disease treatment

The G8 took monumental strides in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease recently when it met in London to solidify a global movement against dementia. British Prime Minister David Cameron remarked that the event may become the day that “the global fight-back really started.” The G8 aligned to the U.S.’s goal of beating Alzheimer’s by 2025, and the world’s eight richest countries made commitments that were larger than anticipated.

After the G8 event, it seems that the world is finally getting serious about beating a disease that has been rightly identified as the 21st century’s “ticking-time bomb.” It is now well recognized that Alzheimer’s is no longer “the rich world’s problem,” and the G8 is spearheading a movement that is designed to become — and must become — truly global.

This is largely driven by demographics. At the moment, the G8 nations are some of the world’s “oldest.” Because Alzheimer’s correlates to age — affecting one-in-eight people over 65 and nearly one-in-two over 85 — the increase in human life spans in G8 nations is driving rates of Alzheimer’s.

But the developing world is not far behind. Over the past 50 years, life spans have doubled in dozens of nations around the world, and longevity that was once unique to the world’s most privileged nations is becoming the global norm. The most rapid increases in incidences of Alzheimer’s are occurring in low- and middle-income nations.

caregivers Alzheimer's disease

It is of tremendous consequence that the G8 has sounded the clarion, but its commitments to action must be enforced, practical and goal-oriented follow-through is needed. To this end, two key questions arise: What can be done to move the conversation from the G8 to the larger family of nations and peoples affected by Alzheimer’s? And what is the immediate and longer-term action-oriented agenda to execute against the G8 commitments?

To globalize the conversation, the OECD and the WHO are going to be absolutely essential. Each played a critical role at the G8 event, and each organization demonstrated how and why it can become an effective global leader.

The OECD is ideally suited to extend the conversation outside the G8 and to other key global powers like China and India. The OECD has already shown leadership in addressing questions of finances and innovations that are needed to beat the disease. Now, it can work alongside the G8 to cascade the global agenda through BRICS and deeper into the private sector.

The WHO is equally critical due to its unique reach and influence in lower income nations. In many places outside the G8 and OECD, Alzheimer’s is still seen as a natural, inevitable part of aging, and the stigma against the disease prohibits adequate assessment and treatment. The WHO has already taken notable steps to improve the situation, but there ismuch more to be done, as we are, according to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, “empty handed” in “terms of a cure, or even a treatment.” Working with other advocacy and philanthropic organizations, the WHO can take immediate action by calling on all WHO member nations to adopt a National Dementia Plan — at the moment only 13 of 194 member nations have such a plan.

Alzheimer's disease infectious disease

While the OECD and WHO can globalize the fight against Alzheimer’s, it is imperative to adhere to and drive towards specific priorities. To this end, during a convening by the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s disease (CEOi) of a diverse group of industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations immediately following the G8 summit, six key action items emerged, including:

  1. Developing a global Alzheimer’s clinical trial platform that reduces the time, cost, and risk of drug testing, as well as advances the scientific understanding of disease pathogenesis and increases capacity and efficiency of clinical trials.
  2. Developing innovative financial models that increase private financial and philanthropic investment in Alzheimer’s disease discovery, drug development and infrastructure, as well as care delivery.
  3. Leveraging technological innovation in tools and Big Data techniques to advance Alzheimer’s disease research, patient engagement, and care delivery.
  4. Improving care practices globally to be more family centered and outcome oriented.
  5. Setting international norms on national efforts to plan and take action to address Alzheimer’s;
  6. Creating global standards for regulatory pathways of Alzheimer’s treatments.

Each of these goals requires a solution that inherently global. As nations, we have worked within our borders long enough, and the G8 is absolutely right to insist on the global nature of these goals.

While these are exactly the right goals for national governments, industry, science, and other stakeholders to be working towards, it could be argued that these goals overlook the present to focus on the future. This claim does have certain merit. We have both to act now on immediate issues of care but act now, as well, to drive with greater urgency toward a future cure.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

Work can be done at the present on local and national levels to create better methods of care. The overly institutionalized model of care that presides today is both impersonal and inefficient. At the G8 event, the UK shared insights into a plan that it is developing, in which bus drivers, bank tellers, and other public-facing professionals will learn to better identify and assist persons with dementia, so that those with cognitive and functional impairments feel confident that they can participate in public life and not remain cabined at home. Such a program is low-cost, immediate-impact, and stigma-reducing — and it creates a model of front-line care that can be mimicked in countless other nations throughout the world.

For the cynic, it could be easy to chalk up the G8 event as just another wonky get-together in which high-flying rhetoric stood in for concrete action. This critique will be exactly right if we do not drive action-oriented follow-through from the event. But, as an optimist, I look forward to an international conference in 2025 when we refer back to “the spirit of London.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-vradenburg/catalyzing-the-landmark-g8-commitment_b_4489405.html

Alzheimer’s Disease Soaring In Finland, Iceland, United States

Editor’s Note: Global rates for the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease have soared in the past few years. Click here for more current data.

Alzheimer’s Disease Spreading Through Bodily Fluids

The deadly Alzheimer’s disease epidemic is real. It’s global. It’s unstoppable. More than 50 million people around the world are dying from the disease today. The numbers will continue to climb at a faster pace unless we identify and stop the environmental component of the disease (a contagion called a prion). Prions are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency.

“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing deadly prions and prion disease. He claims that all TSEs are caused by prions.

President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research. According to Prusiner, TSEs all are on the same disease spectrum, which is more accurately described as prion (PREE-on) disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is at the extreme end of the spectrum. Prusiner’s science is being ignored and we are facing a public health disaster because of the negligence.

prion disease spectrum

Studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them with prions in their urine, feces, blood, mucus and saliva. Not only are homes and hospitals exposed to the prion pathogen, so are entire sewage treatment systems and their by-products. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators and distributors. The sewage sludge and wastewater released are spreading disease far and wide. Sewage mismanagement also is contributing to the global surge in autism.

Prion researcher Dr. Joel Pedersen, from the University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain soils. Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sewage sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said.

joel pedersen prion research

“Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems. Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment.”

“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively deactivate prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.

Alzheimer's disease epidemic

As the chart below illustrates, not all countries are experiencing the same prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. The North Atlantic countries of Finland, Iceland and Sweden have some of the highest rates of dementia in the world. Why?

Why is Finland’s dementia rate 39 percent higher than Iceland’s? If dementia is a random or sporadic condition, there should be little or no variance in the incidence from country to country. In reality, the differences and coincidences are alarming.

The United States and other developed countries also have high incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, doctors are withholding millions of additional diagnoses in the United States, so we don’t know the extent of the epidemic in America, but the incidence likely rivals Finland.

The undeveloped countries across Asia, Africa and South America have the lowest incidence. What causes these regional variations? Could it be an unhealthy or contaminated diet in these countries? Could it be contaminated drinking water? Or is it another source of regional environmental contamination? We have our theories and we are backing them up with science and facts.

According to recent studies, Finland has the highest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the world (current statistics here). Iceland and Sweden aren’t far behind. It could be that Finland is doing a better job of screening, diagnosing and offering honest assessments. What can we learn from these regional variations? What are the common threads that can help us unravel the causes of neurological disease?

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Deaths/100K
1.   Finland                     34.9
2.  Iceland                      25.1
3.  United States           24.8
4.  Sweden                     21.5
5.  Netherlands             21.4
6.  Switzerland              20.0
7.  Cuba                           19.6
8.  Chile                          19.6
9.  Andorra                     19.4
10.  Spain                        18.7
11.  Norway                     18.6
12.  Uruguay                   17.5
13.  Denmark                  17.4
14.  United Kingdom    17.1
15.  France                      16.6

Although there are many causes of Alzheimer’s and related neurological diseases, the Baltic Sea region is a microcosm worth studying. The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted bodies of water on the planet. Much of the pollution originates upstream and on land, but tons of it are dumped directly in the sea.

We have our theories about the spread of the disease and why it may be higher in these regions. Prions earned the Nobel Prize for Dr. Stanley Prusiner in 1997. In humans, we know prion disease as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In other mammals, we know it as mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease, which has now jumped the Atlantic from North America to the reindeer in Norway. Sick deer didn’t cross the ocean to infect the reindeer.

biosolids land application contaminates food water

Sewage sludge dumped on land is the common denominator and Norway’s sewage is very infectious. The country has one of the highest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the world. Prion disease has even been found in dolphins and it’s likely what is causing the massive die-offs and beaching of whales. It’s because of groundwater runoff from infected fields and forests.

These sick animals are canaries in the proverbial coal mine. If sewage is infecting wildlife, it’s happening to the livestock that produce our meat and dairy products. They just aren’t living long enough to exhibit the clinical symptoms and testing for mad cow disease, for example, isn’t happening in a meaningful manner. The same prion contamination is exposing every person on the planet to deadly neurological disease and other ailments. Our food and water supplies are being contaminated with infectious and toxic sewage. It’s time to outlaw this foolish practice that’s enriching corporations, such as Synagro, Lystek and others. It’s time to purge the institutional corruption within federal, state and local governments that enables this deadly practice.

The largest prion pathway in the world is human sewage and the dumping of it on farms, ranches, forests, playgrounds, golf courses, parks, forests, and beyond. This illegal dumping of infectious waste is reckless and it’s contributing to a public health disaster. Neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. Sewage isn’t fuel, fertilizer or a safe source of drinking water. Unfortunately, it’s the source of deadly and unstoppable disease. It’s time to manage it responsibly.

Prions are contributing to the global spike in prion diseases, which also are known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). There is no species barrier to prion disease. A deadly prion is a deadly prion.

All forms of prion disease are deadly, incurable, contagious and unstoppable. Each species impacted is fueling the environmental contamination and cross-contaminating others and others species via infected bodily fluids and tissues. People, livestock and wildlife with these diseases not only are incurable, they are spreading the contagion throughout their day via blood, saliva, mucus, urine and feces.

wastewater treatment plant

Sick people are infecting cropland via biosolids and wastewater reuse (prions cannot be stopped by sewage processing–just ask the U.S. EPA and WEF). Infected croplands proceed to infect crops, deer, elk, cattle and anything else that grazes or eats the crop. Rainwater and irrigation wash those prions from the crops into creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans.

In other words, the hot spots for Alzheimer’s disease should be analyzed for all of these vectors. What do these areas have in common regarding sewage, agriculture, fishing, water supplies, health systems and more? The vectors are expanding by the day and ignorance and denial will only make things worse. Once these diseases come nipping at your door, we may all wish that we had taken the prion epidemic much more seriously and did not spread them like fertilizer.

Alzheimer's disease treatment

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  • Avoid neurotoxins in food, water and the circles of life;
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  • Keep caregivers safe. Misinformation and misdiagnoses are putting them at risk.

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Call 602-999-7204 (USA) or write to Gary Chandler to join our campaign and coalition for truth and reform. gary@crossbow1.com.

Most Governments Unprepared For Alzheimer’s Epidemic

Dementia Summit In London Next Week

According to a new report, the number of people living with dementia worldwide is set to triple by 2050. A new analysis by experts at the charity Alzheimer’s Disease International says 44 million people live with the disease, but that figure will increase to 135 million by 2050. (It might even explode past that mark if we don’t stop the contagion.)

Alzheimer's disease treatment

The figures were released ahead of a G8 dementia summit in London next week. The report says most governments are “woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic.”

Alzheimer’s Disease International expects increasing life expectancies to drive a surge in cases in poor and middle-income countries, particularly in Southeast Asia and Africa. Finland presently has the highest death rate in the world from dementia. Iceland, Sweden and the United States also lead the world with unusually high rates.

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Source: http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/1205/490970-dementia-alzheimers-disease/

U.S. Senator Challenges Nation To Make Alzheimer’s Research A Top Priority

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Overlooked

By Sen. Susan Collins and Dr. Ron Petersen

Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible disease that exacts a tremendous personal and economic toll on the individual, the family and our society. There is no more helpless feeling than to watch the progression of this devastating disease. It is equally painful to witness the emotional and physical damage inflicted on family caregivers, exhausted by an endless series of “36-hour” days. Moreover, Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top 10 in our nation without a way to prevent it, cure it, or even slow its progression.

Alzheimer's disease treatment

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the time, fewer than two million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, more than five million Americans have the disease. Based on current projections, as many as 16 million Americans past the age of 65 will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.

In addition to the human suffering it causes, Alzheimer’s costs the United States more than $200 billion a year, including $142 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. That price tag will increase exponentially as the baby boom generation ages.

If we fail to change the current trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease, our country will not only face a mounting public health crisis, but an economic one as well. If nothing is done to slow or stop the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that Alzheimer’s will cost the United States an astonishing $20 trillion over the next 40 years.

Alzheimer's disease research

With baby boomers turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 persons per day, it is estimated that nearly one in two of the baby boomers reaching 85 will develop Alzheimer’s. As a consequence, chances are that members of the baby boom generation will either be spending their golden years with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone who has it. In many ways, Alzheimer’s is the defining disease of this generation.

If we are to prevent Alzheimer’s from becoming the defining disease of the next generation, it is imperative that we dramatically increase our investment in Alzheimer’s disease research.

According to a study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s and other dementias cost the United States more than either cancer or heart disease. That study finds that both the costs and number of people with dementia will more than double within 30 years, skyrocketing at a rate that rarely occurs with a chronic disease.

At a time when the cost to Medicare and Medicaid of caring for Alzheimer’s patients is $142 billion a year, we are spending less than $500 million on Alzheimer’s research. We currently spend $6 billion a year for cancer research, $3 billion a year for research on HIV/AIDS, and $2 billion a year for cardiovascular research, all worthy investments. Surely we can do more for Alzheimer’s, given the tremendous human and economic price of this devastating disease.

The annual death rates for those other diseases are decreasing, yet mortality due to Alzheimer’s disease is escalating dramatically, suggesting that the investments in research are, in fact, having an effect at curbing those disorders.

While monetary investments are not a guarantee for a cure, there is little doubt that research would have a significant impact on reducing the impact of this disease.

The fact is, there is promising research in the pipeline that holds great hope for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. The research community is poised to make important contributions toward the treatment of this disease through clinical trials being planned and by investigating new therapeutic targets.

This is a challenging disease to treat, but we have been successful with other complex disorders. With Alzheimer’s disease, we have no choice but to attack it at now with both public and private partners coalescing efforts to eradicate the disease.

We do not want Alzheimer’s disease to be the disorder of our children’s generation as well.

The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease was authorized by the bipartisan 2010 National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which has as its primary goal, to “prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.” To meet that goal, the public members of the Advisory Council created by the legislation say that we will need to devote $2 billion a year to Alzheimer’s research.

We are therefore calling on the president and Congress to double the amount we currently spend on Alzheimer’s disease research in FY 2015. This would be a down payment on our ultimate goal of meeting the $2 billion target during the next five years.

Finding a way to effectively prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 is an ambitious goal. But the stakes are simply too high for our nation not to pick up the challenge.

Susan Collins is the senior senator from Maine, co-chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force, co-author of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act as well as the ranking Republican on the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Ronald C Petersen, M.D., PH.D, is the director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and leading expert on national efforts to address the disease.

Source: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/columns-analysis/2013/11/24/alzheimers-research-should-be-national-priority/1456217