February 11, 2003
President Ronald Reagan turned ninety-two on February 6, but probably didn't know it. As with an estimated five million other Americans, Reagan suffers from the devastation of Alzheimer's disease, a progressive form of dementia that robs victims of their memory, their ability to reason and plan, their personality, and ultimately, their life.
As research and medical breakthroughs continue to occur in our battles against diseases like cancer and heart disease, so increases our life expectancies. And as we continue to live longer, so increases the number of us who will get Alzheimer's - reaching an estimated 14 million Americans by 2050 if a cure is not found. Alzheimer's disease costs Americans more than $100 billion every year.
"Ronald Reagan is the most powerful and well-known public figure to come forward and admit to the world that he suffers from this debilitating disease," says Paul Greengard, Ph.D., Nobel Prize-winning director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research at The Rockefeller University, one of the world's largest scientific laboratories devoted to researching Alzheimer's. "His admission was a major step forward in galvanizing public attention to this disease so that a cure might be found."
By www.ALZinfo.org, The Alzheimer's Information Site.