Ending the disease by 2020 is a hot topic. The ambitious goal was the focus of Henry McCance and Rudy Tanzi’s TEDMED talk yesterday and was a key point in Sandra Day O’Connor’s excellent op-ed in the New York Times from earlier in the week.
CNN.com featured a summary of the Tanzi/McCance TEDMED talk:
Dr. Rudolph Tanzi of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund laid out an ambitious goal of finding a cure for the illness by the year 2020. Tanzi and venture capitalist Henry McCance, who helped found the fund in 2004, described the partnership that led to the identification of new genes that seem to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, genes that are potential targets for new drug therapies.
We highly recommend reading The Age of Alzheimer’s by Sandra Day O’Connor, Stanley Prusiner and Ken Dychtwald published on Oct. 27, 2010. Just to give you a glimpse of the important message, here’s how the piece starts:
OUR government is ignoring what is likely to become the single greatest threat to the health of Americans: Alzheimer’s disease, an illness that is 100 percent incurable and 100 percent fatal. It attacks rich and poor, white-collar and blue, and women and men, without regard to party. A degenerative disease, it steadily robs its victims of memory, judgment and dignity, leaves them unable to care for themselves and destroys their brain and their identity — often depleting their caregivers and families both emotionally and financially.
Starting on Jan. 1, our 79-million-strong baby boom generation will be turning 65 at the rate of one every eight seconds. That means more than 10,000 people per day, or more than four million per year, for the next 19 years facing an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.