Properly fund Alzheimer's research

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President Bush's 2009 budget proposal continues a dangerous trend of underfunding medical and scientific research. It underestimates the vital hope such research offers families facing debilitating and fatal diseases, such as Alzheimer's. It is absolutely critical to maintain a level of funding that would ensure that scientists have the tools and resources to find treatments to delay, halt or reverse the progression of Alzheimer's and other life threatening diseases.

As many as 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease today. In 2000, there were 161,000 in Georgia with Alzheimer's disease, and by 2010 there will be an estimated 199,647 people with the disease. Without effective treatments, Georgia's health care and long-term care systems will not be able to provide sufficient support for the emerging baby boomer population.

The president's proposal is far from what is necessary to bring an end to a disease accruing costs that will put Medicare, Medicaid and individual families into financial ruin. Investing in research to end Alzheimer's disease is one of the most prudent decisions that the government can make -- it will save lives and billions of dollars for Medicare and Medicaid.

There is real potential for a better future, one in which Alzheimer's disease is no longer a death sentence but a manageable, treatable disease that affects far fewer people -- people who will continue to lead productive and meaningful lives.

To achieve this future tomorrow, Alzheimer's disease must be addressed and funded as a national priority today.

Kathy Tuckey, Augusta

(The writer is program and services director for the Alzheimer's Association, East Central Georgia Region.)

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Bizarro
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Bizarro 02/11/08 - 08:20 am
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Funding is not really the

Funding is not really the problem except in a general sense that govt funding is down. Private donations have been huge for Alzheimer's for a decade and pharmaceutical companies are now where the promising research is ongoing-hence a number of researchers are leaving academics and heading up projects for pharmaceutical companies. It is predicted that within the next ten years a number of new drugs, amyloid vaccine, tau and apolipoprotein E alleles altering strategies will be ready for the public as many are already in clinical trials. While the embryonic stem cell strategy seemed promising it is now on a back burner. Stem cell do have a unique ability to find damaged areas and this ability may be used more as a means to target some of the new drugs and agents to damaged areas of the brain. There are also a lot of preventive health habits one can adopt, but generally the public doesn't respond well just like type II diabetes and heart disease preventive measures are often ignored. Combinations of attacking amyloid, tau, and suppressing mutant apoE alleles will probably be clinically applied within the decade.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 02/11/08 - 08:45 am
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Sadly funding for various

Sadly funding for various diseases such as AIDS and Alzheimer's is driven by politics and emotions. Heart disease and cancer are still the number one killers and they don't get disproportionate funding. Ironically there is a list of diseases that are characterized to the point of being "curable" with a few years, however there is no interest in these "minor" diseases so little funding. Clinton pushed and drove an enormous increase and expansion in research.This produced a glut of research and a huge waste-as funding has to be spent or you lose it. I have witnessed blowing a million because the money is there. Now the piper has to be paid. Sadly fraud and other ethics violations has become common place (even amongst a couple of nobel prize winners) in research. Research and science has become a business to some degree.

soldout
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soldout 02/11/08 - 09:22 am
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Good news! Dr David Williams

Good news! Dr David Williams reported a while back that German researchers treated Alzheimer's patients with 600 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid daily. They were monitored for one year and none of them experienced any additional loss of cognitive function.

Taking this much can deplete biotin so it is good to add 50 micrograms of biotin with it for every 100 mg of lipoic acid.

Turmeric will slow Alzheimers down but alpha lipoic stops it according to this research. I have asked the Alzheimer's association to publish the German research but they won't respond. Every Alzheimer's patient needs to know about this research and make a decision on trying it.

johnrdupree
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johnrdupree 02/11/08 - 10:23 am
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Purvis, I hope you're not

Purvis, I hope you're not talking about this Dr. David Williams (http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/). His whole website seems to be geared toward selling his supplements and "reports", which don't appear to be peer reviewed and, since they are self published, aren't held to any sort of research standard. And he's not even an M.D., he's a chiropractor. The study you mention (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11395173) did take place, but it had only nine patients, had no control group, was not randomized or double blind. They same researchers did a follow up study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17982894) that showed the therapy slowed cognitive degeneration, but again this study was too small and informal to draw a definitive conclusion. They did recommend a further research with a large, randomized, controlled study. As it is, these studies were not designed to develop a treatment or determine safety, only to see if any effect could be observed. Holding them up as a model for treatment is dangerous and gives false hope.

soldout
1283
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soldout 02/11/08 - 11:10 am
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I have read Dr. Williams

I have read Dr. Williams letters for many years and have never found any error on his suggestions that I have followed. I don't know about the others. He is very slow to recommend anything. Time will show if this information is correct. I want to let people know what is out there and then they can research and decide for themselves. They won't hear about these things from advertsing or on the local news. People need to know there is other information to consider. Whether it is NAET, EFT , Dr. David Williams, Dr Mercola, or your grandmother's method people need the opportunity to eat the fish and spit out the bones. If life shows us anything it is that the truth will always come out and the majority is usually wrong. Also the truth is the truth no matter where it comes from.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 02/11/08 - 12:17 pm
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jonhrdupree is speaking fact.

jonhrdupree is speaking fact. "Doctor" Williams is promoting quackery. No difference from snake oil. People should not hear about it, and won't hear of it from a reliable source. There is but one "Truth".

soldout
1283
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soldout 02/11/08 - 01:10 pm
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I wasn't going to say anymore

I wasn't going to say anymore as I refuse to get into strife, but good news is always good news. I told a lady in Sylvania about this a couple of years ago. Her father's case had progressed a lot. She has been giving this to him and he leveled off and now is improving. Her father-in-law also had Alzheimers and did not get this treatment. He went down hill until his death. She has seen two people with same condition and seen the difference. I don't draw any conclusions from this except this is observed fact. Everyone can draw their own conclusion and believe what they choose to believe.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 02/11/08 - 01:38 pm
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That is called "anectdotal"

That is called "anectdotal" evidence. That is not science.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 02/11/08 - 08:25 pm
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The alpha lipoic acid may

The alpha lipoic acid may prove beneficial-just it hasn't yet. You have to be a little patient. As I said, a number of new drugs and vaccines are undergoing clinical trials and these hold great promise. Actually studies demonstrate no link with aluminum and alzheimer's nor does it have cognitive effects. There is high levels of zinc in cortical brain tissues of alzheimer's patients. Toxic levels of aluminum in factory workers is another story. There is a much stronger genetic link associated with Apolipoprotein E alleles. Environment can effect disease, but it is not just exposure during life, but the offending exposure could be in the womb. Those with the genetic tendency can adopt healthy lifestyle options that may reduce the risks.

LBenedict
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LBenedict 02/11/08 - 09:35 pm
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Bizarro - do you have those

Bizarro - do you have those links regarding Thimerosal and autism readily available? If so, will you please send them to lee@leebenedict.com? I'm doing my "applied project" for an EdS in Applied Cognition and Development and those links and sources you supplied a few months ago will be beneficial. Thanks!

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