Alzheimer's is a disease that affects millions of Americans, yet it is often left in the shadows. However, in recent weeks, Alzheimer's has emerged as a major issue on the 2012 presidential campaign trail.
Recently, USAgainstAlzheimer's advocates invited all of the 2012 presidential candidates, including President Obama, to record a short video about Alzheimer's and what they would do to stop it if elected. Thus far, we have received videos from Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Jon Huntsman. In the near future, we also hope to see videos from the other candidates on this crisis.
Currently, 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's -- a disease that is expected to cost the U.S. $2 trillion over the next decade. The disease also has a devastating effect on the 14.9 million Americans who serve as unpaid caregivers to their loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer's, often postponing their own lives to care for those with the disease. Without a national plan to stop the disease, more than 10 million baby boomers will die from Alzheimer's.
You can view the videos below:
MICHELE BACHMANN: "It was once predicted we would spend $1 billion a year on polio, maybe even more. Today, polio costs us virtually nothing, because Jonas Salk found a vaccine -- a cure -- and I'd like to see that same thing happen with Alzheimer's. Because I believe a cure is always better -- and cheaper -- than more care."
NEWT GINGRICH: "Alzheimer's is going to cost us between now and 2050, as much as 20 trillion dollars, and that's why it's very important that we take steps such as I'm proposing in my brain science initiative."
JON HUNTSMAN: "[Alzheimer's] is a disease with no treatment and no cure, but that doesn't mean there is no hope. Experts believe a cure is possible by the end of this decade, but only with a sustained, targeted, and national commitment. Now it is time for us to declare a War on Alzheimer's, and rally the American people around the belief that this disease is beatable."