Long-Term Memory

To the Editor: November is national awareness month for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a condition associated with the breakdown of nervous tissue in the brain, causing dementia and ending in death. With sufficient resources and initiative that only the federal government can bring to this race against time, research is at a point where effective treatment and prevention can stave off tremendous health care costs in the future. In 2000, Medicare alone spent $31.9 billion for the care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. By the middle of the century, it is estimated that nearly 14 million of today’s Baby Boomers will have Alzheimer’s disease. The annual cost of such a widespread disease will soar to $375 billion, overwhelming our healthcare system and bankrupting Medicare and Medicaid. However, we can avoid this crisis if we take action now by trying to find a cure. For more information, call 800.272.3900 or visit the website, www.alz.org.