Congress beefs up Alzheimer’s research funding by $350 million in a bid to finally find a cure to the debilitating disease that affects one in three U.S. seniors. But there are critics who say more needs to be done.
Though with the recent increase in funding Alzheimer’s research nears $1 billion per year, critics believe that it is still not enough. They cite cancer research which has up to $6 billion in funding or heart disease research with $2 billion every year.
Some advocates claim that we need to reach the $2 billion mark in Alzheimer’s research funding, as well, to make a difference. They believe that medical science can find a cure for Alzheimer’s by 2025 if there were more funds.
According to recent statistics, every minute a person learns that he or she had the disease. The condition has a major impact on women since two-thirds of U.S. Alzheimer’s patients are women. Women are the main caretakers for the ones with the condition.
Previous research also showed that a woman has double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s after the age of 60 than being diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, the condition cost the U.S. more than $200 billion in health care and research costs. Analysts expect Alzheimer’s to make U.S. taxpayers take out of their pockets more than $1 trillion every year.
In the U.S., 5 million Alzheimer’s patients eventually lose the battle against the disease, while 15 million people provide care for them. The numbers of Americans with the condition is expected to jump to 16 million in 35 years’ time.
Yet, some experts think that the grim statistics could be prevented from becoming reality, if the U.S. invested more in research and encouraged talented students to go pursue a career in neurosciences.
And we need to move fast since Alzheimer’s seems to rush to affect more people’s brains, as the age of onset of the disease mysteriously dropped in recent years from 70 and something to 50 or 60. In the U.S., about 200,000 patients are affected by this issue.
Fortunately, there are clues that may hint you have an early onset of the disease. For instance, if you forget how things work and you can’t tell what’s the function of a key is or recall that dirty dishes need to be cleaned you may have an early form of the disease.
Alzheimer’s patients also fall more often than their healthy peers, and are often unable to sense sarcasm in other people’s voice.
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