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Letters: Forgetting about Alzheimer's

June 02, 2013

Re "How to defeat Alzheimer's," Opinion, May 28

I can hardly believe how poorly our priorities are set in this country.

The first phase of California's bullet train is funded with $985 million, and the whole project will cost untold billions. Alzheimer's and dementia affect practically every family and will cost us trillions in the future to treat, and yet researchers have a hard time coming up with $25 million to conduct Phase I and Phase II drug testing.

If we had thrown money at dementia research like we did the AIDS epidemic, many who are mentally incapacitated now could be reading this newspaper — along with the many HIV-positive Americans living today with low virus loads.

Roger Walton

North Hills

David Schubert's article should be a wake-up call.

My organization is a nonprofit that funds early stage research. More of this type of innovative research is urgently needed, but as Schubert points out, the money is not there.

Whether it's a government or an academic initiative, or a combination of the two, stemming the looming Alzheimer's epidemic must be a national priority. If not, we risk draining our healthcare system and our economy.

Stacy Pagos Haller

Rockville, Md.

The writer is president and chief executive of BrightFocus Foundation.

Schubert discusses how to combat Alzheimer's. Recent research conducted in Canada has shown that being bilingual can delay the onset of Alzheimer's symptoms by several years. Evidently, bilingualism itself protects against dementia.

Gerald P. Lunderville

Long Beach

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