350 Million Dollars Worth of Hope!
June, the month dedicated to Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness is over, and this year it seems to have brought with it … hope!
Hope stemming from new research findings as well as from newly allocated resources to fund further research.
A recent Alzheimer’s Association report estimates that nearly two thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease are women, and that at age 65 women have about 1 in 6 chances of developing the disease during the rest of their lives (compared to 1 in 11 chance for men).
Commenting on this, D. Susan Resnick, of the National Institutes of Health, points that “we really have had a tough time understanding whether or not women really are more affected by the disease, or it’s just that they live longer”
Indeed, data from the long-running Framingham, Massachusetts health study suggests that because more men die from heart disease in middle age, those who survive past 65 may have healthier hearts that in turn provide brain protection, clearly suggesting that many of the same factors (obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes) that damage arteries, are also Alzheimer’s risks.
As if on cue, on June 25 the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an historic 60% increase — approximately $350 million — for Alzheimer’s disease research. If passed into law, this would be the largest increase in Alzheimer’s funding to date.
This year’s Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month might be over – but the months ahead shine full of hope!