During his most recent State of the Union address President Obama outlined an ambitious plan to invest billions (with a B) to map the human brain. Perhaps most of America missed the significance of his idea but, in essence, he challenged this generation to unlock the mystery of neurons and synapses just like President Kennedy challenged his generation to put a man on the moon and bring him back safely.
Obama’s plan is, of course, good news to for Alzheimer’s community. With government funding and private research from academic institutions, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies it’s possible that we can find a cure for Alzheimer’s. But until then more than five million families each year face the difficulties of having a loved one diagnosed with the disease.
By 2050 it’s expected that 15 million people will have the disease.
Mr. President, on behalf of the Alzheimer’s community I want to thank you for making Alzheimer’s research part of your second term agenda. But we also need to find a way to use some of the money and invest it in Alzheimer’s care. We need to train healthcare and social workers, assisted living facility employees and businesses how to work with Alzheimer’s patients compassionately.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s Disease isn’t going away. But we need to invest in providing the best care possible so that those who have the disease can live with dignity.