Aging Baby Boomers Renew Interest in Alzheimer’s Research
With the "baby boom" generation approaching the age when Alzheimer's disease becomes a concern, the search for a cure for the disease -- or at least improved methods of containing its deteriorating effects -- has gained a renewed sense of urgency. A three-part series of articles in this week's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Alzheimer's is "closely tied to age," afflicting approximately 10% of the population over the age of 65 and 50% for ages 85 and over. The Post-Gazette reports that for people older than 65, the chances of getting Alzheimer's double every five years. Federal funding for Alzheimer's research -- currently $466 million -- is three times larger than it was 10 years ago. That figure includes funding for Alzheimer's disease centers first established by the National Institute on Aging in 1984 "to propel better scientific understanding of the disease" (Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/10). The Post-Gazette's series also explores the history of the disease, the search for a cure, the intense competition among pharmaceutical companies to corner the Alzheimer's market and a profile of Dr. Steven DeKosky, the chairman of theThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.