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Posted on Sat, Jan 28, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

Alzheimer's Disease can't wait

By Letters to the Editor

The Obama administration has just released its “Draft Framework” for a National Alzheimer’s Plan and as a nation we are at a critical juncture for the Department of Health & Human Services to create an aggressive and coordinated national strategy to deal with and change the trajectory of this disease.

As the Advisory Council for the National Alzheimer’s Plan meets in Washington, it is important to remember the 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including some 180,000 (65+) right here in Michigan. Also, this very day there are some 15 million friends & family providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s and dementia -- 507,000 individuals in Michigan alone.

Alzheimer’s is devastating to families from every walk of life. We are at a vital point in time where the creation of a plan to address this crisis is within our grasp IF we can get our nation’s leaders to fulfill the commitment they made when the National Alzheimer’s Project Act passed last year….the commitment to the millions living today with this disease and the millions more who will face it tomorrow.

Families looking for what they can do to help should visit : “” to become an advocate, learn more and share their opinion.

The time is now because Alzheimer’s can’t wait.

Ron Hagen


Michael K.

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

The legislation **allows** physicians to **get paid** for something tehy currently do not get paid for. THAT IS ALL As David illustrates, &quot;triage&quot; of health care occurs in EVERY health care system in the. By definition it has too, unless we spent all of our GPD on health care. Even then it would still be a process of who gets what - need your own MRI machine at home? Sure, you use it enough .... We pay socially in one way or another for the care we provide, or the lack of it. It is 1,000 times more expensive to provide emergency room care to the critically ill and uninsured than to do preventive care 20 years earlier. We spend twice as much of our GDP on health care than most other inustrialized, first world countries. Yet we cover fewer people than any other country. That very policy is an economic DISADVANTAGE to our companies - Ford, GM, etc. - because they bear those burdens that in other countries are shared. The best info on this? How about the CIA assessment? Health expenditures, ranked 2nd: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Life expectancy, ranked 50th: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Infant mortality, most &quot;industrialized&quot; countries are better, especially Europe and Japan, etc.: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Maternal mortality, again, most industrialed are better: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

David Briegel

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Sorry thinker, think again, the real &quot;death panels&quot; are in the board rooms of every insurance company who take your health care premiums and squander those funds on admin, overhead, high salaries, bonuses, profits and lobbying expenses and then deny care to the insured! 45,000 die every year due to no health insurance. Collateral damage!


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

I had a loved one die with Alzheimer's (not of) so I am totally sympathetic to the heartbreak of seeing a fine mind and body go downhill. I know that doctors, under the national health care system, will be required to make sure all seriously ill or long-term care patients and their children have had counseling on right-to-die and palliative care. I consider that in itself intrusive and suggestive.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 4:01 a.m.

@DBH- Here are some references. I don't have the exact page of the actual legislation, I skimmed it and think Title II, Sut F, Sec 259 may have some reference to &quot;comparative Effectiveness panels&quot;. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> --This, from a neurosurgeon. Is he reliable? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> --please read this entirely--it has some good points in it.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

@thinker, as you may recall I had asked for RELIABLE references. As @aamom has shown us (and thanks very much, @aamom, for that link), your first link is discredited based on research by the AANS and CNS - the caller wasn't even a neurosurgeon, and the supposed meeting on which he reported never took place. Your second link is authored by Raymond J. Adamek, Ph.D. who (although his credentials/affiliations are not given in the PDF file) appears to be a professor of sociology at Kent State University. While he might be credible, I have never heard of him before. In any event, I would not consider this reference to be a reliable reference, just more of the same cherry-picking of comments taken out of context and possible proposals that were never incorporated into federal law. If you can't do any better than these two references, my impression is reinforced that you are propagating misinformation. Just because you hear an &quot;expert&quot; on talk radio, or because you read something somewhere, don't believe it without exercising due diligence on the veracity of the claims.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 5:40 a.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 1:56 a.m.

My mother suffered from this horrendous disease for more than 10 years, this past Sept 18th she finally lost her battle with the disease. Fortunately, she was able to die at home with my father, siblings and grandkids at her beside those last few weeks. While 5.4 million suffer from this disease right now, those numbers will more than triple over the next 20 years as the baby boomers enter old age. The fact that this disease , currently the 6th leading cause of death and soon to be perhaps the 4th receives so little funding and research dollars spent is very disturbing , If you have not been impacted by this disease yet, consider yourself very lucky, you more than likely will be in the future. Go Green Go White

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

Thanks for this Ron. Alzheimer's is a horrible disease. It is the sixth leading cause of death, and the only one out of the top 10 causes of death in the US that cannot be prevented or cured. I have a loved one with Alzheimer's and it is truly awful to see how this disease is taking away the person that I love. The sooner we find a way to fight Alzheimer's the better.


Sat, Jan 28, 2012 : 11:44 p.m.

Don't worry. The government has Obamacare. Folks with Alzheimer's will be evaluated by a special evaluative team, (or death panel), who will decide if their lives can be prolonged or not.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

I second that request. I had about come to the conclusion that this was a barefaced lie, but would be willing to reconsider if given some source of reliable information to the contrary.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

I believe you are propagating misinformation. I ask that you provide a reliable reference for evidence of &quot;...a special evaluative team, (or death panel), who will decide if their lives can be prolonged or not.&quot;