Doctors: Sequester Could Affect Alzheimer's Research

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 3/12/2013 7:20 pm
80,000 Kentuckians suffer from Alzheimer's Disease, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation.

With the national cost at more than $200 billion--and slated to grow to more than $1 trillion as baby boomers get to the risky Alzheimer's age (65)--University of Kentucky doctors said Friday that research is more important than ever.

However, they said, the sequester, which cuts federal funding across the board, could change that.

"The funding agencies are pulling back, and it's very likely that this--if the sequester's not solved in a very immediate near-future--that this program's not going to get funded," said UK Alzheimer's Disease Center researcher Dr. Peter Nelson.

Doctors said the sequester would cut funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), which supplies funding for Alzheimer's research.

"Without federal money coming in, centers like our Alzheimer's Disease Research [Center] will cease to exist," said Dr. Gregory Jicha, clinical director for the center.

"We need to find a cure for Alzheimer's," he said.

It's a statement Tom and Nancy Conley agreed with--Nancy has the disease.

"She has a pretty mild case so far, and it seems to be progressing slowly," said Tom Conley.

Alzheimer's Disease is 100 percent fatal--no one survives it.  But Nancy isn't the only reason the couple said they volunteer their bodies for research.

"We hope that it'll help find a cure...so that if it doesn't help us, at least it might help our kids or grandkids," said the couple.

As sequester cuts loom closer, research doctors weren't so sure.

"If we are cut off from having the funds to do it, it's not gonna get done," said Dr. Nelson.

The doctors suggest writing your senator to stop the sequester from administering cuts. To find out your senator's address, you can go to this website.
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