On Feb. 26, Alzheimer’s Association celebrity champion Seth Rogen, along with others, testified about the importance of funding Alzheimer’s research, at a hearing into the economic impact of AD.
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The Congressional hearing also examined the current state of biomedical research into prevention and treatment of the disease.
“Americans whisper the word Alzheimer’s, because their government whispers the word Alzheimer’s. And, although a whisper is better than the silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it is still not enough,” said Rogen. “It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding it deserves and needs, if for no other reason, than to get some peace and quiet.”
Rogen, the B.C.-born actor and star of This Is The End and Knocked Up, along with his wife Lauren Miller, founded Hilarity for Charity , in honor of his mother-in-law who was diagnosed with the disease at 55. The goal of Hilarity for Charity is to raise money for families struggling with Alzheimer’s and to support cutting-edge research. “That’s right, the situation is so dire that it caused me, a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child to start an entire charity organization,” Rogen said.
Instead of being disappointed that young people were so misinformed about the reality disease, we educated them.
“We recently started a college program that allows university students to hold their own Hilarity for Charity events, and in the month since it started, 18 schools nationwide had signed up to hold events.”
The hearing was chaired by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins, and former Congressman Dennis Moore (D-KS), who is living with Alzheimer’s, also testified.
“With their help and thousands of Alzheimer’s Association advocates, we are at the cusp of a much-needed turning point in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” aid Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law an FY14 funding bill that included $122 million in additional Alzheimer’s funding, the largest-ever increase in federal funding for Alzheimer’s research and care programs. These funds come on the heels of a meeting of researchers convened by the Alzheimer’s Association to determine the resources required to meet the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.
“We are not, at the moment, limited by ideas. We are not limited by scientific opportunities. We are not limited by talent,” said Dr. Collins. “We are, unfortunately, limited by resources to be able to move this enterprise forward at the pace that it could take.”
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