Letters to the Editor

Letter: Alzheimer’s awareness

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 23,000 in Idaho. By 2050, up to 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s. In addition to devastating entire families, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation, costing $226 billion in 2015. That number will grow to $1.1 trillion in 2050.

Today, nearly 1 in 5 Medicare dollars is spent on a person living with Alzheimer’s. Yet, only 1.7 percent of the National Institutes of Health’s budget goes toward Alzheimer’s research. Eliminating Alzheimer’s disease will require raising the federal commitment to Alzheimer’s research to a level that better reflects the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on individuals, families and society.

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month — an opportunity to join the global conversation about the brain, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Now is the time to join the movement. Please contact Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson and urge them to support increasing Alzheimer’s research funding by $300 million in fiscal year 2016. Visit alz.org/idaho to join the fight against Alzheimer’s.

MacKenzie Rodgers, Executive Director, Greater Idaho Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association