Our Views ; Congress Gets Creative in Alzheimers Funding; Legislation Creates Prized-Based Incentives for Researchers

By Dmedit | Charleston Gazette Mail, October 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

Our Views ; Congress Gets Creative in Alzheimers Funding; Legislation Creates Prized-Based Incentives for Researchers


Dmedit, Charleston Gazette Mail


As West Virginias population ages, taking a look at some of the health issues our seniors face becomes almost mandatory. Chief among those health concerns is Alzheimers disease, which causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. In many cases, Alzheimers and other forms of dementia become severe enough to interfere with everyday life.

The disease is a progressive one for which there is no cure. According to the Alzheimers Association, 36,000 West Virginians suffer from Alzheimers, and that number is projected to jump 22 percent over the next 10 years.

Some areas of the country are expected to see an even bigger spike in the number of Alzheimers patients, with Alaska, Arizona and Nevada all seeing an increase of more than 60 percent.

As the number of cases grows, researchers, pharmaceutical companies and the federal government will have to spend more in order to fund treatments and hopefully one day find a cure.

The financial burden, however, is astronomical. The estimated cost of care for 2015 is $226 billion, and that number will only keep growing until a cure is found.

Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who knows firsthand the affects of Alzheimers and dementia on families, signed on to support legislation that would create prizebased incentives that encourage more public-private collaboration in funding Alzheimers research. …

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