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More government funding, research vital to find cure for Alzheimer’s disease

To the editor:

November is Family Caregivers Month. Did you know that over 11 million Americans provide unpaid care of people with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias? According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures, caregivers provide more than 18 billion hours valued at nearly $340 Billion.

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition that affects millions of Americans, both directly and indirectly, by placing an enormous emotional and financial burden on individuals and families. This is particularly hard for those of us who live in Greater Minnesota where needed services may be a long drive away.

I know firsthand how Alzheimer’s greatly affected our family when my mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 57. That’s why I am a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association.

It’s crucial that our federal government continues to prioritize research and funding to improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s and to find a cure. I urge my congresswoman, Rep. Fischbach, to join her colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting the funding request that has been made to the National Institutes of Health. This request is vital to continue the work that is being done at many health care settings, including here in Minnesota, to help us find a cure for this terrible disease.

If your loved one is diagnosed with dementia, The Alzheimer’s Association MN-ND offers free classes on Alzheimer’s and dementia, and support groups for people impacted. Visit alz.org/mnnd or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900 for support.

Beth Magnusson

Gibbon

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