An Alzheimer’s Statistic I Did Not Know

Writing in the October 27, 2010 New York Times, three prestigious AIDS advocates, including retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, call for a “man-on-the-moon” effort, setting a goal to stop Alzheimer’s, by the year 2020. Justice O’Connor, writing on the op-ed page along with medicine Nobel Prize winner, Stanley Prusiner (read his Nobel Price acceptance speech), and psychologist Ken Dychtwald, point out that the country has previously organized itself in a similar ways to counter polio and AIDS. The Age of Alzheimer’s points out that an economic effect of the development of AIDS medicines is the addition of nearly 1.4 trillion dollars to the American economy.

No stranger to the ravages of Alzheimer’s, Justice O’Connor helped to care for her late husband when he developed the degenerative disease.

The Times piece gives a health funding statistic that I had not heard before: “…for each penny the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends on Alzheimer’s research, we spend more than $3.50 on caring for people with the condition.”

This is currently one of the Times’ most e-mailed articles.

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