OPINION

Letter to the Editor: Support Alzheimer's Research

Devils Lake Journal

To the Editor:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical research has been greatly underscored. As Congress addresses the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable impacted by COVID-19, they’re also continuing their work to address another devastating disease affecting millions of Americans – Alzheimer’s.

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I understand firsthand the impact of this disease. In 2011, my mother was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 52, I as well as my family became her caregivers and we were then able to have a staff of caregivers in her home. In 2017 she moved into a memory care unit and sadly, she passed away in January 2018, 3 days before the birth of her first grandchild at 59 years old.

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Today, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s – a number expected to nearly triple by 2050. Currently in North Dakota alone, 15,000 people have Alzheimer’s and the state’s death rate for Alzheimer’s has increased by 11% since the start of COVID.

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Thankfully, Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-ND can all play an important role in addressing this critical issue. By increasing funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health by $289 million, they have the opportunity to provide millions of Americans like me with a sense of hope. Finding effective treatment or a cure would greatly alleviate further extensive costs in the future.

As our nation continues its collective focus in 2021 on keeping people safe and healthy, it is time to honor the requests of scientists and researchers for additional research funding so they can bring hope and optimism to the millions of American families affected by this disease.

Thank you

Amber Moen, Devils Lake, ND

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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