Clinical trial

Where’s the NIH million$ designated for Alzheimer’s research?

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I wrote the article below with an exhilaration that threatened to carry me into the air and cradle me on Cloud 9. 

Donning silly glasses and cozying up to a bottle of bubbly.
Donning silly glasses and cozying up to a bottle of bubbly that remains unopened.

Since that time, the children in Washington, D.C. have been battling it out on the playground, most not playing fairly, and all of them holding strong to an agenda that appears to be designed to promote their party, rather than their constituents.

I wondered aloud, “If thousands of national parks are closed, 100’s of thousands of employees are furloughed, and service members’ families are being robbed of benefits, what luck does the Alzheimer’s research money have of remaining designated for that cause?”

So I wrote an e-mail to the National Institutes of Health and asked them this very question.  What follows is the automated response I received:

Due to the absence of either an FY 2014 appropriation or Continuing Resolution for the Department of Health and Human Services, no one is available to respond to your message. If you require immediate attention, please contact NIH Service desk at 301-496-HELP or via web http://itservicedesk.nih.gov/support.

Asked and answered.

September 25, 2013

NIH logo
NIH logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In today’s news, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that grants for research to discover therapies for Alzheimer’s disease have been awarded in the amount of $40 million from the Office of the NIH director, and $5 million from the National Institute on Aging.

In all the reading that I’ve done, I’ve discerned that the magic words when it comes to finding treatment and/or a cure, are “clinical trials.”  The new funding of $45 million will advance the current research being initiated in the form of clinical trials, thereby offering hope to all of us who live long enough to be at risk for acquiring this disease.

Pfizer Bapineuzumab Fails|Alzheimer’s Reading Room

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Pfizer Bapineuzumab Fails, All Clinical Trials Discontinued | Alzheimer\’s Reading Room.

This is such disappointing news to the Alzheimer’s community which at its heart includes those suffering with the disease and the family caregivers suffering right along with them.

As someone who in the past has been personally involved with this disease as a caregiver for my father, I have experienced elation at the start of new drug trials – and defeat when those trials failed.  This disease just seems to be one that evades all goodhearted and extensive attempts to slow down the disease.

A cure?  That doesn’t even seem to be on any horizon I’ll see before the end of my days.  But this insidious disease can’t even be slowed down, for heaven’s sake, so that the patient and all of his/her family can enjoy a better, longer, and less-impaired life.

What a said bit of news indeed.