Thursday, October 28, 2010

'The Age of Alzheimer's'

We're heading to the latest caregiver Town Hall Forum this morning at the Ramada Inn in Clairemont Mesa, where we're going to try something new for us: live tweeting. You can find out what our medical and administrative experts have to say by following us at GlennerCenters on Twitter.

In the meantime, we also wanted to pass along a good read from today's New York Times, penned by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and two men experts in their fields. It sounds a familiar bell to those familiar with Alzheimer's growing impact on our population and underscores the need to act now.

Consider this passage:

If we could simply postpone the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by five years, a large share of nursing home beds in the United States would empty. And if we could eliminate it, as Jonas Salk wiped out polio with his vaccine, we would greatly expand the potential of all Americans to live long, healthy and productive lives — and save trillions of dollars doing it.

Experience has taught us that we cannot avoid Alzheimer’s disease by having regular medical checkups, by being involved in nourishing relationships or by going to the gym or filling in crossword puzzles. Ronald Reagan suffered the ravages of this disease for a decade despite the support of his loving family, the extraordinary stimulation of his work, his access to the best medical care and his high level of physical fitness. What’s needed are new medicines that attack the causes of the disease directly.

The article goes on to stress the need for a national agenda focused on Alzheimer's research and, ultimately, a cure. Be sure to read it, and also be sure to follow us at Twitter today.

Op-Ed Article: The Age of Alzheimer's (New York Times)