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The Scientific Process And The Need For Better Data

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is inarguably the largest unmet need in the US today. While there are diseases, such as heart disease, with higher prevalence and greater mortality, AD is the largest disease without any meaningful treatment or cure. We do not know how to prevent AD, and as our population ages the prevalence of this progressive, neurodegenerative condition will likely increase as well. Multiple political leaders have advocated for applying more resources to researching treatments for AD. During her lifetime, Former First Lady Nancy Reagan advocated strenuously in support of funding for novel therapeutic approaches, including embryonic stem cell research, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wants to see a doubling of the US government spending on AD. Vice-Presidential nominee Tim Kaine advocated for further research to find a cure for the disease during his acceptance speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week. Most people know someone afflicted with AD and the prospect of being afflicted or caring for someone with AD concerns almost everyone. Nancy Reagan’s ‘Long Goodbye’ to her husband perhaps best captured the fear we have that we, or someone we love, will be afflicted.