What is the excuse for not taking action on Alzheimer’s?

Having early-stage Alzheimer’s, I get extraordinarily sentimental when I hear the words of songs when I go for early morning walks with my headphones on.

Yesterday morning, I heard the song, “Memories,” and some of the lyrics hit my heart, soul and mind. I looked up the lyrics on the Web: “Daylight (and the sun was about to rise soon after at that time), I must wait for the sunrise, I must think of a new life, and I mustn’t give in, when the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too, and a new day will begin …”

As I live in this new chapter of my life with Alzheimer’s and it’s associated memory problems, I feel as as though I am metaphorically like that butterfly living in “The Precious Present” (as is the title of the book by Spencer Johnson, MD.) On a daily basis, I do as many of my physicians have strongly recommended: living each moment to it’s fullest, being proactive and active, and doing the best that I can do under my cognitive circumstances, without worrying about tomorrow or carrying the baggage of the past.

The other song that I heard this morning as I was walking was “Oh Very Young” and the words said, “You’re only dancing on this earth for a short time … and though you want to last forever, you know you never will …” — and boy, this is true for each of us. We all have a short time on this earth, so we gotta make the best of the time, in good health and times when our health is not so good.

When I see the harsh political bickering in Washington, DC, and how the press may make some of these issues most dominant in the news, I ponder think about how health is the foundation of each of our lives and a foundation of our society.  Yet a huge number of health issues do not make the news and are sometimes put on the back burner to some stories that may be more “sensational” in nature.

Without having good health, what is there? Money and possessions are not a substitute, I have lived through that.

With President Obama now asking for a mere increase of $100 million in Alzheimer’s funding this year, additional funding to try to get Alzheimer’s funding on par with the funding of other major diseases, Congress continues to banter about other political issues, perhaps using these issues as an excuse or distraction for not taking action on some of the important issues that face our nation.  That disturbs me.

My message to Congress is this: bicker on negative political topics if you wish, but do not use these issues as excuses for not taking the necessary actions to improve the lives of the 5 million individuals with Alzheimer’s and their 15 million caregivers.

Alzheimer’s is now Medicare’s costliest illness, more than cancer or heart disease. Over 140 billion dollars this year. So why delay funding curative research efforts to the NIH? What can be the excuse for not taking action?

This is not the time for any elected official to “turn your heads and pretend that you do not see” as Bob Dylan wrote in “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Members of Congress must face their heads directly forward and get moving on all of the things that are most essential for our nation.

Alexander Halperin is a retired dentist and a volunteer, Alzheimer’s Association.

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  • GlutathionePro

    I agree whole heartily putting health front and center takes priority over the current reported news. While Alzheimer’s research is of the utmost importance, we think people should be educated on the ways to prevent the illness and improve quality of life whether the onset of Alzheimer’s is present or not. Improve brain health on a cellular level and practice a healthy lifestyle. This disease will effect one third of Americans before they reach their deathbed. Simple prevention could bring this number down drastically, and reduce the cost of the huge burden it is on our medical system. One supplement in particular, big surprise, Acetyl Glutathione.

  • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

    GIven the current make-up of Congress and Americans’ attitudes on taxation, you can’t expect the government to do anything about it. Sorry.

    • Guest

      We threw half a billion dollars at Solyndra, a failed solar panel company run by Obama’s mates. “PRIORITIES!’

  • Guest

    “a mere increase of $100 million in Alzheimer’s funding this year”

    He threw five times that amount to his crony capitalist buddies at failed solar panel company Solyndra. The Alzheimer’s lobby obviously doesn’t have the right connections.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deane.alban Deane Alban

    Not only are we as a society sticking our heads in the sand about the upcoming Alzheimer’s epidemic, so are individuals. It’s pretty clear no one should count on modern medicine, at least in this lifetime, to prevent or stop Alzheimer’s. There is SO much each person can do to take care of their own brains but most people are afraid to even contemplate their acquiring this disease as a possibility. Every day there are new studies about how nutrition, supplements, exercise, avoiding toxin exposure, stress reduction, good sleep and more can prevent cognitive decline.

  • nomidazolam

    Don’t let ANYBODY give you the drug Versed/Midazolam. Its main purpose is to deliberately give you Alzheimers-like symptoms. They tell you that the amnesia and forgetfullness are only temporary. Don’t believe them. Medical people are deliberately giving us a drug that CAUSES the same symptoms as the dreaded disease. They are clueless as to the exact mechanism of this drug on the brain, nor are they informed as to the long term effects of disrupting the delicate processes of the brain with this chemical Alzheimers drug Versed. I’d like to see a study done on how many people who get “premature Alzheimers” have gotten Versed. How long after the Versed injection were they diagnosed? How much Versed were they dosed with and how many times? Unfortunately Alzheimers patients are easy to deal with, can be restrained, abused and such without any reprisal. No wonder our medical folks don’t give a damn if they subject our brains to damage with their brain poison Versed. Any drug which can cause Alzheimers, temporary or maybe not, should not be used.

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