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Patient: Alzheimer's plan OK, but too late for me
Phil Kreitner, 72, has mild cognitive impairment. He supports research for Alzheimer's disease.
May 15th, 2012
11:16 AM ET

Patient: Alzheimer's plan OK, but too late for me

When Phil Kreitner’s wife Sherril Gelmon comes home and asks what he did all day, he has to pause to think. It’s hard enough to remember what he did five minutes ago. And where he keeps the different cereals he likes to mix in the morning.

Kreitner, 72, of Portland, Oregon, is one of many aging Americans living with mild cognitive impairment, a condition marked by memory impairment that may progress into the more severe Alzheimer’s disease. He’s participating in a clinical trial aimed at testing a treatment for dementia, and believes furthering research is critical for combating the brain disease.

"I walk around all [expletive] day telling myself 'Why can’t you remember that? You’ve got to remember that! Why aren’t you remembering that? How can you try to remember that?' ” says Kreitner, who was the subject of a CNN profile in 2011.

He’s excited that the Obama administration has committed to investing in more clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, with the goal of effective treatment and prevention by 2025. But when that deadline arrives, Kreitner isn't sure he'll still be around - he may not live to see the benefits of that research.

The government’s new strategy, outlined Tuesday, supports a $7.9 million dollar study on an insulin nasal spray treatment. Separately, researchers will work on the first-ever Alzheimer's prevention trial in people with a genetic predisposition to develop the condition. The plan also offers solutions for collaborating across federal and state agencies and for informing the public through a one-stop website, www.alzheimers.gov.

“We’ve put tremendous resources into the conventional diseases, the ones that have clear pathogens,” Kreitner said. “But on the conditions attacking the brain, we have made not much progress.”

Insulin may help treat Alzheimer’s

Help can’t come soon enough for the more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s. Take a look at these disturbing Alzheimer's statistics projected for 2050:
• 11 million additional people will have the condition in the United States
• 115.4 million will have it worldwide, compared to the current figure of about 35.6 million
•  $1.1 trillion will be spent in the U.S. on caregiving costs, compared with $200 billion this year.

Staring in the face of these sobering numbers, the Obama administration offered details Tuesday of how it plans to take on this mysterious disease that destroys the brain.

The new strategy supports a $7.9 million dollar study on an insulin nasal spray treatment. Separately, researchers will work on the first-ever Alzheimer's prevention trial in people with a genetic predisposition to develop the condition. The strategy also offers solutions for collaborating across federal and state agencies and for informing the public through a one-stop website, www.alzheimers.gov.

"The plan gives us a blueprint to build on our research efforts," U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday at the announcement of the government's new plan.  "These actions are the cornerstone of an ambitious and  aggressive agenda."

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said at the announcement that, scientifically speaking, we are in an "exceptional moment" with Alzheimer's, with more "revelations" coming out all the time.

Alzheimer's currently affects more than 5 million Americans.

Health officials detailed the new plan Tuesday at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2012: Path to Treatment and Prevention. Leading Alzheimer's researchers from around the world are at the National Institutes of Health today to talk about which research should be emphasized.

President Obama signed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act into law in January 2011, which called for a coordinated national plan to fight Alzheimer's. In February of 2012, the administration said it would push for a $156 million increase in funding for Alzheimer's research over the next two years. That's in addition to the $450 million already being spent.
As of Tuesday, Obama's proposed 2013 budget allows for a $100 million increase for anti-Alzheimer's efforts, which is part of the $156 million. The other part is for 2012.

Still, funding for Alzheimer's research in the United States has not even approached the level of monetary support for other major diseases. Last year, the NIH spent $3 billion on research into AIDS, $4.3 billion on heart disease, and $5.8 billion for cancer, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Photo gallery: Alzheimer's disease

The current thinking among Alzheimer's experts is that early detection and intervention – even before symptoms begin – is better. Individuals with only mild memory problems may hold the most promise for testing treatments.
Scientists know that beta-amyloid plaques in the brain are associated with Alzheimer's disease, but they are not necessarily a precursor to it. Still, MRI and PET scans can detect these plaques and, combined with mild memory problems, there's a high likelihood of developing full-blown Alzheimer's.

There's also a rare form of Alzheimer's that is genetically driven.

Funding is only one part of finding solutions for this debilitating disease. In practice scientists find it challenging to get a lot of participation in clinical trials. Some people don't want to risk the possible side effects of an experimental drug; others do want to try new drugs, but fear being placed in the placebo group.  And elderly people may have practical difficulties getting to the study location.

While Kreitner's father, who had Alzheimer’s, died just shy of 80, and rarely admitted he had memory problems. Kreitner, on the other hand, says he has accepted his own difficulties.

“I’m sure there’s going to be improvement [in research], but the resources need to go into it,” Kreitner said.


soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. marsha

    good luck with that lol

    May 15, 2012 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Max Brooks from Florida

      We already have something that can help fight Alzheimer's. Its called marijuana.

      If you are already rolling your eyes, you should Google it. Marijuana use has been shown to keep those tell-tale clumps from forming in one's brain and it will gradually get rid of existing clumps.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Marihuana also cures the common cold, fights tirelessly against homelessness, balances the budgets worldwide, stops invasive species, and puts men (maybe even women) on Mars! It's a desert topping and floor wax, too!!

      May 15, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • YesBill-ItsTrue

      http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/2006/080906.html

      May 15, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • Murcoc2112

      My Mother died last week of the disease after about 8 years of a slow decline. This is one of most horrible afflictions to affect humans on the planet. I wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy and any preventative medical measure that can be created will be a godsend to society.

      May 15, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
    • Max Brooks from Florida

      Bill,

      Sources please.

      May 15, 2012 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
    • JOE

      SHOW ME THE MONEY

      May 15, 2012 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      I work with patients suffering various types of dementia. It is indeed a difficult disease to watch–it is difficult to watch the effects on both the victim and their loved ones. An aside for Bill, I have not read the research on marijuana's effect on Alzheimer's. I can say that I have seen plenty of former marijuana users fall to the disease–it is certainly no deterrent. Hopefully, increased research funding can help relieve suffering among dementia patients.

      May 15, 2012 at 19:50 | Report abuse |
    • Jill

      Bill and max, marijuana has also been linked to schizophrenia when used in adolescence. 'Tis not a miracle drug.

      What does look interesting on the horizon is bexarotene, an oral chemotherapy agent used in the treatment of skin cancer. It was recently shown to eradicate beta amyloid plaques in mice with Alzheimer's. (search Case Western Bexamethasone for actual data, rather than just listening to me).

      and Mari, everyone's brain shrinks as they age - that's why old people falling = bad news bears. There are things in your head called "bridging veins" that become less protected as the brain shrinks and they are prone to tearing causing subdural hemorrhages - aka the slow bleeds that lead to increased disability and death.

      As for me, fish oil is the way to go. Until they figure out 1) an ethical approach to gene therapy (yes, alzheimer's has a genetic component) , or 2) a means of screening and prevention that one could employ before reaching the mild cognitive impairment stage (think pap smears for brains).

      May 15, 2012 at 22:25 | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      Researchers in London showed that the key to reversing dementia and heart disease is to use a speciialized diabetes diet.
      All Alzheimer's and heart disease can be reversed in many people by using a specialized diabetes diet. This was proven in Scandinavia News. You may not have diabetes but Alzheimer's is related to blood sugar. Alzheimer's and diabetes has risen at the same exact level over the last 30 years. A specialized diabetes diet in Denmark was shown to improve memory in Dementia and Alzheimer's sufferers.
      Just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

      May 16, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Anna your comments are insensitive. Nothing can cure ALL cases. This armchair diagnosis of cures is dangerous and ridiculous. I know having lost a parent to the disease, just over 3 years ago. So many would say well have they tried this, have they tried that. We were seeing the best specialists in Seattle of course they know what is relevant and not and things that YOU haven't even heard of.

      May 16, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • Atom

      Would you like help with this issue? I would be happy to offer a suggestion for alzheimers. You see brain activity needs to be stimulated. Simple things like keeping it active with creativity stimulate it! Treat your body like a temple. Stay away from drinking out of aluminum cans. Stay away from common poisons in food and harmful medications. People should be together in pairs so they do not forget.

      May 17, 2012 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      PLEASE INCLUDE MUSIC/VIDEO AS APPLIED FOCUS to help "connect neurons" in the brain.. or whatveer for treating Altzheimers. Some people have too many daily activities preventing from them ACTUALLY ENJOYING ONE THING. If they just focus a bit more on more sensual things, it may help the recovery process. The deal is: Essential notations in music and the brain coping with the sounds (and not gettting off-topic). The idea is to enter the brain into complete trance, allowing the music to take complete advantage on helping our brains.

      May 18, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  2. Perry

    If the US is serious about fighting Alzheimer's, then it needs to do something about the radiation from cell phones and wireless internet and cell towers that are contributing heavily to the onset of early AD.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrHanson

      Proof? Although I sometimes wonder if it is contributing to honey bee colony collapse disorder.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      wheres your proof that cell phones..etc are contributing to alzheimer's??

      May 15, 2012 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • GonzoG

      I've known lots of people with Alzheimer's-And I honestly can't think of one of them that used a cell phone more than once or twice in their lives.

      I don't think that's the cause.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Well, I think that if the US is serious about fighting Alzheimer's, then it needs to do something about all the reality television programming that is contributing heavily to the onset of early AD.

      (HAH! I bet you thought you were the only one who could make correlations and declare them causative–in fact, "heavily" causative–without proof! Well so can I. We should hang out some time.)

      May 15, 2012 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Look up the links of smoking marijuana and prevention of Alzheimer's. Stop the war on drugs, save 50+ billion a year. Put it towards something that can actually be stopped.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      Cordless telephones are just as bad as cell phones and have been around long enough to affect seniors. And television transmission towers have been around for 70 plus years. So the ten thousand studies that show harmful effects from some of the electromagnetic spectrum should be considered.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • ericshellhornindallas

      It may be that many things contribute to AD, however we MUST NOT overlook the assault on our brains by the horrible, unsafe chemicals in our drinks (Nutrasweet, aspartame, sucralose, etc..) These chemicals are neurotoxins at high (or low, but chronic daily doses). We are killing ourselves with chemicals.

      May 15, 2012 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • Oscar Pitchfork

      Cell phones don;t contribute to Alzheimer's you dumas, they contribute to cancer, The ultra-short wavelengths of radiant energy in microwaves (which is what they emit, although much weaker) cause cells to mutate, and to mutate in a cancerous way. Amyloid plaques clog the cell receptors mechanically, like spraying plastic on electrical contacts that are supposed to touch. Doofus...

      May 15, 2012 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
    • lynne

      Perry,
      Alzheimers is associated with low levels and absorbtion of acetylcholine in the brain. The myelin sheath of neurons subsequently begins to break down. This leads to slower processing of information and trouble forming new memories. These things are affected in no way by cell phones. Cell phones could POTENTIALLY contribute to CANCER, but the two are apples and oranges.
      Let's maybe research something before we talk out of our a$$

      May 15, 2012 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      lynne,
      there's no reason to be rude.
      You should look at the research that has already been done. Look up Havas and Lei and Olle Johannson for starters.

      May 15, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Daisy

      Not one single person I've known who had Alzheimer's ever used a cell phone. You do know, don't you, that Alzheimer's was first diagnosed more than 100 years ago? Not a lot of cell phone users back then.

      May 15, 2012 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      Daisy,
      there might be several co-factors involved with AD. Insulin resistance, disproportionate polyunsaturated fatty acid intake, electromagnetic fields (cell phones, wi-fi, cordless phones, microwave ovens), etc.
      AD may have been diagnosed 100 years ago, but it was nowhere near the rate that it is today.

      May 15, 2012 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
    • thedoctor

      ARGHH! Electromagnetic radiation does NOT cause cancer. The frequency is FAR too low to break DNA bonds. The real issue is that there is no known physical cause and effect, merely flawed studies looking for a statistical correlation. The physics of this has been known for almost 100 years. Here's a good link: http://www.skepdic.com/emf.html

      Notice that the doom and gloom is coming from book authors which the media readily quote. Please ask a physicist.

      May 15, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      thedoctor,
      The link you provide is just simply misinformation intended to keep the masses deceived. There are real doctors the world over that have proven the many health destroying effects of cell phones and wireless internet.
      Do your research and please don't just think that you can insult my intelligence with your hit and run agenda.

      May 15, 2012 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
    • Kathleen Farrell

      Cell towers? My dad died 9 years ago of it, and his mother, in the nid-70s.

      May 15, 2012 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      Not just alzheimer's but heart problems as well:

      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/01/12/cordless-phone-emfs-trigger-heart-rhythm-abnormalities.aspx

      May 15, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
    • e

      My grandmother never saw a cell phone in her life. How about we focus on REAL research.

      May 15, 2012 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      Some of these responses amounting to "my grandpa never used a cell phone or was around cell phones" sound as if they are coming from one person with different screen names.

      May 15, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • Daisy

      Yes, Perry. It's simply not possible that more than one person knows people who had Alzheimer's in their 70s and 80s who never used a cell phone. It HAS to be one person just making up stuff.

      May 15, 2012 at 19:30 | Report abuse |
    • miguel

      Anyone who suspects a correlation between cell phone use and Alzheimers had better hurry up and fund a study to verify it – because none currently exist. (In other words, quit making stuff up, Perry. This is a serious subject).

      May 15, 2012 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
    • Bill2

      The incidence of many diseases has increased dramatically in "recent" years. Many diseases are only recently known–they are rare and it takes a fairly large population to have an appreciable number of cases (or to recognize them as diseases with a physical basis). Over the course of time, many potential causes for disease are explored. It's too early to state CONCLUSIVELY that electromagnetic radiation is causing damage. Potentially, yes; conclusively, no.

      May 15, 2012 at 20:05 | Report abuse |
    • Perry

      This study out of Greece is compelling:

      http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/mice-proteome/

      May 16, 2012 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      What's the occurrence of Alzheimer's among the Amish? (That should answer this once and for all...)

      May 16, 2012 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
  3. Unit34AHunter

    This is long overdue. Almost every other "war" we have fought has been for the benefit of privileged, wealthy people. The war on alzheimer's and related degenerative diseases is a war in which victory really WILL enhance the liberty and security of most Americans.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ben

    That's it.. Lets Declare War on a disease.. Why don't you just try to find a cure? Why's everything a WAR?

    May 15, 2012 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Larry

      Good comment, Ben. The answer to your question is simple, there is no money in a cure, only treatment. It is sad but that is how our system works.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • BucketDrop

      I agree, Ben. Why is the term "war" so misused? The English language is a broad language with plenty of terms for tackling (addressing, working to prevent) a disease. Perhaps it is time to have a "war on the misuse of the word war."

      This detracts from this otherwise very good news article about additional resources being allocated to address this disease.

      May 15, 2012 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I agree. Let's start a war on declaring war on everything.

      May 15, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  5. viu

    How about we just "increase reserch"? This "war" schtick is hyperbole synonymous with overpriced, over-promised and failed efforts.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ivanatmms

    Who the hell is going to pay for all of this?! You people think money grows on trees, what idiots you are!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChrisVC

      - and you kids get out my yard!!!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      I pay 50+ billion a year for the WAR ON DRUGS. Im done paying for that!!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • mikestatesvillenc

      Apparently there is a money tree at the Whitehouse with endless money on it.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      How about cutting from the 600 BILLION on 'defense'?

      May 15, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • sarahh

      Are you going to be able to pay for it when you come down with the disease? Are you planning on becoming a burden to your family and put them into the position of being your caregiver? This is a disease that can last decades, during which time you'll have no ability to help pay for your own care. This particular disease is extremely costly to care for as opposed to the cost of finding a cure. I'm all for it.

      May 15, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • Ron77

      A $100 million investment into more research is a 0.01% investment into the projected annual cost of $1.1 trillion to care for these patients. So, if we can reduce the projected burden by just 1%, it would be a 100-fold return on investment. Yes, it is worth a shot. In fact, it would well be worth investing much more to increase our chances.

      May 15, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • e

      You realize that alzheimers requires 24 hour a day care for years? Can you afford to pay for that? Most people do not have that kind of money, which is why we HAVE to invest in prevention.

      May 15, 2012 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
    • Thatguy371

      You're the idiot. Spend the money now to discover ways of prevention, or spend it later for patient care, times 100. Use that same equation on wars. Spend the money now for a war or what? Nothing.

      May 16, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
  7. Susan Ulmer-Mello

    My Dad passed away last week of this terrible disease. My Mother also has this disease. The odds are stacked against me, I know I will have this disease. With no health insurance, I'm left to invent my own little "black pill" because I refuse to put my husband and children through the torture of caring for me.
    So when they come up with a cure – who will be able to afford it? Not me!!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robyn

      I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer's in 2010. One of the most painful things I've ever endured. I can't remember the last time she called me by name. Soon after she thought I was a friend from grade school. Then she had no idea who I was... I wasn't even in her memories as someone else, she thought her parents and brother were all alive.... they passed away 10+ years earlier. She couldn't remember the man she was married to for 65 years. After time the desease stopped her from walking.... from eating.... from drinking. She passed away at 74lbs because her body simple forgot how to breath. I pray for anyone who has delt with this disease, is dealing with it and may deal with it. I pray for patience. After time.... it won't be your loved one anymore... it will simply being their body, but the disease in control. Be patient and be kind.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:44 | Report abuse |
    • Robyn

      by the way.... she was 83 years old.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
    • sick n tired

      A cure? No one will ever come up with a "cure". You can't make a profit if you go around "curing" people......Thats why there is no cure for cancer (wink, wink). How do you expect the wealthy pharmaceutical CEO's to own 6, 1 million dollar vacation homes?

      May 15, 2012 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
  8. FedUpwithLA

    Is Dick Cheney and Halliburton somehow involved in this? I didn't know that Halliburton was involved in pharmaceuticals, too . . .

    May 15, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thatguy371

      Will you be laughing it up when a loved one, or you yourself, has this disease in 10 years?

      May 16, 2012 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
  9. GonzoG

    I forgot what I was going to say.....Oh! Yeah! HURRY UP!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ?mark

      You posted what I posted at the exact same time according to the time stamp. Jinx!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • GonzoG

      You owe me a soda.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
  10. ?mark

    I forgot what I was going to say.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. DoYouThinkShewillLetMeUseTheOtherOne

    Alzheimer's is GREAT. everyday you get to meet new people!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thatguy371

      Will you be laughing it up when a loved one, or you yourself, contracts this disease in 10 years?

      May 16, 2012 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
  12. jikfive

    My country cannot go one week without declaring war on something.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Larry

    Good comment, Ben. The answer to your question is simple, there is no money in a cure, only treatment. It is sad but that is how our system works.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. randall -- WHO SHALL ONE DAY RULE THE WORLD!

    War on Alzheimers?

    That's a shame. They are such a nice family. They've lived down the street for more than 30 years. I hate to see this happen to them.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. MrCheeks

    Obama has declared war on Alzheimers ?? Oh my god!! Death panels are real!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. dammo

    If Obama is against Alzheimer's then I guess that means that the Repubes are for it.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Penny

    Unless Big Pharmaceuticals can make money off it, there won't be a treatment. The current approved pills last only so long. For what it's worth, Dr. Mary Newport has come up with an affordable treatment: coconut oil and MCT oil. It works to help keep the patient lucid and functioning. I give it to my husband, and he has gotten better. But unless you can get someone to pour millions into a double blind study, or unless Big Pharma can make tons of money on it, you won't see it getting much press.

    May 15, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason WW

      You may have something good here.
      In Greece (Mediterranean diet) the disease is much lower, almost half of that in the U.S. And that's a new thing, appearing mostly since many more people started eating packaged foods and in restaurants, genetically modified foods, rather than cooking at home. It also reflects increased imports of food from other countries.

      I lived in Greece for 23 years, until 1973, and in all that time, I saw only ONE dementia case in a blind grandmother.

      Looking into diet = no profit for big pharma though...
      Just the fact that the disease is increasing, tells you that it has to do with something that has changed here in the last decades, since it's not contagious, and it's not a bacterium or virus.
      The biggest change we've had is in our food supply in the last decades, and if people had less Alzheimer's when food was purer, healthier, with less pesticides and genetic alterations, less sugary and starchy, less medication and hormones in meat, less polluted fish eaten, the connection is obvious, but big business doesn't like to admit it, of course. We each have to learn and do what we must to feed ourselves healthily, we're on our own.

      May 15, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
  18. mdn

    Bring back Cheney and Rummy. They can start two new wars in search of the AL-zheimer (Al Queda's cousin). Maybe they are hiding in Pakistan.

    May 15, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. sick n tired

    Alzheimer's or Mad Cow disease? The symptoms can look very similar. I have to wonder how many people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's actually have Mad Cow disease....

    May 15, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sarahh

      Mad cow kills you quicker.

      May 15, 2012 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  20. Penny

    Along a similar note, my husband immediately got worse when he was put on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs a few years ago. (I took him off the statins.) The brain is supposedly 25% cholesterol, so any drug that lowers it can have an adverse effect on the brain. I have to wonder how many people diagnosed with Alzheimers were caused or exacerbated by statins. Don't try to tell 60 minutes, Dateline or the others - Lipitor advertises heavily with these folks.

    May 15, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scot

      Penny before Lipitor there was mevacor, and yes once the mevacor kicked in my mom went into the cataonic stage of ALZ

      May 15, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse |
  21. Olivia

    The drug companies, nor the government would never admit to having a cure for ANY disease. There is much more money to be made in the treatment of diseases than providing a cure.

    May 15, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. David Sabgir

    We have a large part of the cure already – "In cognitively normal adults, walking 6 miles a week instead of being sedentary was associated with a 50% reduction in Alzheimer's risk over 13 years."
    While we are investing billions in research, why don't we also promote regular physical activity as a successful treatment to this terrible disease (and 40+ other major illnesses)? It's right under our noses.

    May 15, 2012 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Jennifer Hall

    So many families are suffering through Alzheimer's disease as well as many other dementias. It is such a difficult journey and while each one is different there are threads of similarities throughout them all. A recently published memoir shares one man's very honest journey through his mother's Alzheimer's. I would recommend it and the included resource tools to anyone who is just starting out on their own journey. MyMotherMySon.com

    May 15, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 14401

    Does anyone with Alzheimer or any other disease really want our government to do a study on them. This could be another study to get rid of some people who might get in the way down the road. No basis for this.

    May 15, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bczu

      We are watching you....

      May 15, 2012 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
  25. FrankinSD

    I recently lost my Mother to Alzheimer's. All three of her sisters died of the same disease, but none of her four brothers were plagued with it. Now, I look at my little sister and my own daughter and wonder what the future holds for them. And I feel guilty when I reflect on the fact that my son and I probably don't face the same risk.

    Before people ridicule government sponsored health research, I wish they would think about how many lives it can touch.

    May 15, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. PS25

    The best way to stave off Alzheimer and other forms of dementia is aerobic exercise. Read the scientific studies. Start hitting the gym people. I know it's not fun but it's really the best thing you can do for yourself.

    May 15, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JoePub

      Start hitting the gym people? I always try to hit the gym people, but unfortunately they are in better shape than I am and I get beat up.

      May 15, 2012 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • eroteme

      Read the scientific studies? OK. But the last one I read was a warning about global cooling.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
  27. jj

    I'll have to start taking my coconut oil again. I stopped and actually forgot what I was taking it for. No joke, Alzheimer's is a tragic disease. I have heard that studying a foreign language helps, too, perhaps keeps the channels open.

    May 15, 2012 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. NC Mom

    After watching my mother deteriorate with the disease over a very long period of time, I want a magic pill if I were to develop it. Lingering in a mindless state is not how I want to spend my last years and I certainly don't want the family I love to have to deal with it.

    May 15, 2012 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Larissa Lee

    Why is this a "war" on Alzheimer's? The disease is tragic, but it is NOT a war. Nor is there a "war" on students, or children, or candy, or rainbows. War is an armed conflict between opposing forces; let's remember what the word means and quit making everything an exaggeration.

    May 15, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eroteme

      Also, we are not very good at winning these wars, our 'war on poverty' and our 'war on drugs' being a couple we are losing.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Larissa Lee

      I agree. I'm tired of the terminology. I even went so far as to create a FB page called "Peace on Wars" to counteract the "war on" everything we've go going on in the press. I don't care what party or politics you prefer, everyone has to agree this is getting ridiculous!

      May 16, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
  30. Fisher0302

    This article caught my attention because I recently lost someone to Alzheimer's Disease. I have a book for caregivers called 'Alzheimer's Disease A Caregiver's Guide'. It really helped me through the daily speed bumps. I thought I'd post in hopes that it may help someone else. The link to it is http://www.amazon.com/Alzheimers-Disease-A-Caregivers-Guide/dp/1466385979.

    May 15, 2012 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Thakker

    I am losing my Father to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. These are devastating illnesses that I would not wished on my worst enemy. This disease robbed my poor Father of his golden years.

    May 15, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tony

    As someone who suffers from this dibilitating disease, let me first say that... that... uh... hello. Were we just talking?

    May 15, 2012 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eroteme

      don't remember.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
  33. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Take Vitamin E, liquid or pill form.

    May 15, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eroteme

      That ought to do it! How about taking both? Seems that would double the benefit! You might want to advise your doctor and/or and/or other medical authorities about your discovery, they would certainly like to know.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
  34. Kent in Dallas TX

    Quit badmouthing the big drug companies, particularly about how they don't want to find "cures."

    It simply isn't that easy to find a "cure"; they can't just ask their fairy-godmother for a cure.

    May 15, 2012 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. elliemarie

    dementia/alzheimer's has always been around but eveyrone was so concerned with cancer, heart disease, etc. this is all well and good but how about those persons who have suffered with alzheimer's and dont' even know why – like joe. my sweet mom died last september from alzheimer's and it has just broken my heart. fortunately, for her, she did not get to the end stages. please, please make an alzheimer's cure or containment happen more sooner than later. of course, i'd settle for a cure but i'll start small.

    May 15, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Mari

    I think the body shrinks before alzheimer's sets in-if you can stop the body/brain from shrinking–and getting frail–you have a winner on your hand against the fight of alzhemiers...I am 45–I have vertigo/dizziness– for 4 straight years and one neurologist said–because I have had life long Major depresson (I am going to have dementia or alzheimers disease in the future)–I totally cannot work a job–right now.

    May 15, 2012 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Miguel Rosado

      Go total Gluten free for three weeks and see how it help you.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
  37. Portland tony

    As one ages, what is better....A strong mind but a diseased and broken body. Or the other way around. Science must treat the entire person, not one organ at a time!

    May 15, 2012 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. m@yahoo.com

    I'm not religious but I do hope that a miracle happens to the families damaged by this disease. Forgive any ignorant atheist comments you ever see, they do not deserve a response. This disease can be more horrific than cancer, I am not showing any insensitivity towards cancer because my grandmother withered away right before her son and husbands eyes and I truely miss and love that great woman, it causes people to physically and mentally harm their loved ones and even in extremes, murder them. It destroys everything a person ever was. My condolences to those who have lost loved ones from this monsterous disease and I sincerly do hope that a cure can be found. Money needs to be cut from these idiot "Celebrities" and over-paid jocks and put towards technological advances that can help mankind, not destroy it as this entertainment fad does to our youth's mentality. I am a 21 year old married father of 2 beautiful girls, so obviously I am not someone you would expect to say these things about his generation but it is the truth.

    May 15, 2012 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Michael Ellenbogen

    Please help get the word out on this new TV video. Add it to face book, twitter and web sites. Thanks

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/05/15/health-local-man-raising-awareness-about-early-alzheimers-disease/#.T7LWhEpz0Ig.facebook

    May 16, 2012 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Miguel Rosado

    People affected by Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or depression should be tested for Celiac disease; I am 49 and I was having memory and mental difficulties along with others intestinal problems associated with Celiac. I started a gluten free diet and all problems went away.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. eroteme

    It is said that Alzheimer cases will increase in future years. I believe it is also said that the number of elderly will increase in future years. Could there be a connection here? I am nearing the problem area being 81. I have been a bit amused when I have read suggestion that I should receive a test to see if I might be coming down with Alzheimers. At the same time I understand there is no cure, or delaying possibilities. Therefore I am not particularly interested if I am coming down with it or not. I will go with the flow.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. eroteme

    On the other hand, I don't remember if I am coming down with alzheimers or not.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Mike

    In the 1945 and 46 our Government along with some other countries partook in a war trial held in Nuremberg Germany. The Doctors’ Trial was the first of the 12 trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Nuremberg after the end of the World War II. The 23 defendants were all medical doctors accused of having been involved in the horrors of Nazi human experimentation. The trial lasted eight months, from December 9, 1946, to August 20, 1947. Of the 23 defendants, five were acquitted, seven received death sentences, and the remaining received prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. Those sentenced to death were hanged on June 2, 1948, in Landsberg Prison, Bavaria. Our medical staff trained side by side with the Germans before WW II, does anyone really believe they are any better?

    May 16, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Thatguy371

    Sure is great making fun of this isn't it? And of course here comes the 'no money in the cure' sheeple. Wonder if you've had a close relative slowly fade away from this destructive illness? Are you even remotely aware of the cost to care for one person with it? Multiply that by millions of people as the aging baby boomers are reaching retirement. If you think the budget deficit is insane now, wait 20 years. Not to mention the taxing of the existing nursing homes and medical community. AIDS is preventable, Alzheimers isn't. Cancer and heart disease many times are preventable if caught early. At this point, Alzheimers isn't, no matter how early it is detected. Early detection for Alzhimers now means nothing more than letting you know you're doomed to suffer and die from it, unless a cure is found.

    May 16, 2012 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Lillly

    WHY IS CNN NOT BREAKING THIS NEWS?!?!?!?!

    http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3512

    May 16, 2012 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. BOB

    the brain is like the heart when we are working doing work. making us use are brain things go well when we retire and quit doing things to keep he brain going and the heart from working we die pot yes will challange the brain but card games chess ect ect allso help the brain. this is not a cure all but have watched people who stay active and smoke a little weed once in a while seem to keep there wits about them longer. man has put many drugs out there and a lot of them have caused serious problems could be man is causing most of are problems

    May 17, 2012 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. pgh

    If the government were really honest about fighting and preventing Alzheimers, they'd be studying whether mad cow disease is in fact circulating in US beef herds and whether mad cow is masquerading as A.D. Many, many countries (Indonesia, for one!) forbid imports of US beef. Maybe they are privy to data that the American sheeple don't know. Only tiny, random samples of US cows are ever tested, and that's only when they can't stand up anymore.

    May 17, 2012 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Tazblitz

    If the government wants to help so much, they need to help get Alzheimers and dementia classified as a sickness so families can use insurance to help defray the costs of care and treatment. Also, for many who have this disease they may try to get assistance through the Veterans Aid and Assistance program only to find out that they receive too much money from social security and retirement to get any payouts from the VA. This is crap as well. If they are eligibel for the benefits then they should receive them. Caring for a parent with Alzheimers is exhausting and expensive. Families need help both financially and physically.Our government talks a good game but really does nothing to truly help.

    May 17, 2012 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Circulating Tumor Cells

    Thank you for the good write ups! It in fact is an amusement account. I will wait for some more great work from your side. However, how can we communicate?

    Regards

    http://www.clarientinc.com/

    July 21, 2012 at 06:27 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.