The Alzheimer’s Study Group Strategic Plan provides a solid framework for a strategic national plan to combat the growing crisis of Alzheimer’s disease. It is clear that all involved in this report worked hard to develop a comprehensive strategy for the treatment and care of the more than 5.2 million Americans already battling Alzheimer’s and the 10 million caregivers across the country grappling with the challenges of caring for a loved one with the disease.
However, while we believe in the basics of this report, we also believe we must be more aggressive and ambitious in defining a research agenda and timelines for development of effective therapies in our battle against this devastating disease. The last two decades have shown that understanding the causes and genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s is absolutely critical to determining the disease models on which effective treatments and a potential cure should be based. We believe that with appropriate funding of approximately $50 billion over the next decade, and with the strong organizational and care-focused recommendations of the Alzheimer’s Study Group, early prediction and early prevention can be achieved for the vast majority of those who might otherwise fall prey to the disease.
When President Kennedy challenged our nation to land on the moon by the end of the 1960s, he gave us a challenge and a deadline for success. We met that challenge with fervor. Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s is no less daunting and reaching that bold goal is critical to the health of our nation.