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Encourage Rep. Fischbach to support funding for fighting Alzheimer’s

To the editor:

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical importance of medical research. As Congress addresses the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable impacted by COVID-19, they’re also continuing their work to address another devastating disease affecting millions of Americans — Alzheimer’s. Today more than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s and is expected to nearly triple by 2050. Here in Minnesota, there are 99,000 people living with the disease. Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America costing $305 billion in 2020.

As someone who is caring for a parent living with Alzheimer’s, I understand the enormous burden dementia has on Minnesota families and the economy. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015 at the age of 57. This disease has stripped many opportunities from my mother, from her 27-year career at 3M to sleepovers with her five grandchildren. Our outlook on making and preserving memories has drastically changed over the last few years.

Thankfully, Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach can play an important role in addressing this critical issue. By increasing funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $289 million Congresswoman Fischbach has the opportunity to provide millions of Americans like me a sense of hope. As the funding increases, scientists will be able to work at a rapid pace to advance basic disease knowledge, explore ways to reduce risk, uncover new biomarkers for early diagnosis and drug targeting, and make discoveries that can lead to treatment or a cure.

Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in encouraging Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach to lead in the fight to end Alzheimer’s by supporting the critical funding. As our nation continues its collective focus in 2021 on keeping people safe and healthy, it is time to honor the requests of scientists and researchers for additional research funding so they can bring hope and optimism to the millions of American families affected by this disease.

Beth Magnusson

Gibbon

— Beth Magnusson is Minnesota District 7 Alzheimer’s Congressional Ambassador

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