HONOLULU, Hawaii -- This week, nearly 4,000 scientists from around the world gathered to report and discuss the latest advances in research on treatments, risk factors, and diagnosis for the health epidemic of the 21st century – Alzheimer’s disease – at the Alzheimer’s Association 2010 International Conference in Honolulu.
“With an aging baby boomer generation, the Alzheimer’s disease crisis will continue to touch more lives and create an unsustainable fiscal toll on the nation’s healthcare system – particularly Medicare and Medicaid,” said William Thies, PhD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Alzheimer’s Association.
“This week we saw promising investigations being pursued on a variety of fronts – avenues that could very well lead to significant changes in Alzheimer diagnosis and treatment. However, the chronic underinvestment in Alzheimer research continues to be the greatest obstacle to bringing new, more effective therapies to people,” Thies said.
“Every day, researchers go to work with the sole purpose of advancing our understanding and knowledge about Alzheimer’s, which is the defining disease of the baby boomer generation. We need a government response that shows equal commitment by providing the level of funding for research that will get us better diagnostic tests, treatments, and a cure,” Thies added.
Debbie Holroyd says, “There are 53,000 Kansans living with Alzheimer’s disease. This number is predicted to increase to 62,000 (24%) by 2025. Alzheimer’s affects 5.3 million Americans and every 70 seconds someone else receives this diagnosis. It is the 7th leading cause of death. The cost to our nation is 172 BILLION DOLLARS annually. Support at all levels.. local, state, federal, and internationally is vital in order to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease.”