Saving The Future - Saving The Past


Posted on : 2/15/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

We all have personal perspectives and interests that motivate our efforts.  One of my personal perspectives is Alzheimer's or old age dementia.  I watched my grandmother disappear before my eyes.  I watched the husk that remained live on for close to five years.

If you can call that living.

I see the early signs of the same thing happening in my dad.  I experience some early-early signs of the same thing in myself.

It is not possible to look forward to the day when long honed perception and perspective disappear in time's grey haze without experiencing an inexorably rising sense of terror.

We do not currently have a cure for dementia.  One of the reasons why I so urgently advocate for a free market for health care is that other health systems stymie research and innovation.  The first costs to be cut in every nationalized health care system are those associated with the research of new technology.  The cost of providing existing technology to existing patients naturally declines over time as patents expire and product efficiencies are identified.

Future patients needing future technologies?  Current patients being maintained by current technology but hoping for a cure?  Lives unborn in need of a cure that does not yet exist?  Nationalized health care systems have a one size fits all response.

Fuck 'em.

Yet I still have reason to hope that our recently enacted plethora of federal boards, committees, directors, chairpersons, and other august personnel of medical wizardry may yet move slowly enough that a cure for my small concern may arrive before the gates of innovation are closed.

Via Glenn Reynold's Instapundit comes word of a recent discovery of a new application for an old anti-cancer drug.  The WSJ has a decent write-up as well.

A widely available cancer drug has shown remarkable success in reversing Alzheimer's disease in mice, raising hope of a breakthrough against incurable dementia in humans, US researchers said Thursday.

Mice treated with the drug, known as bexarotene, became rapidly smarter and the plaque in their brains that was causing their Alzheimer's started to disappear within hours, said the research in the journal Science.

"We were shocked and amazed," lead author Gary Landreth of the Department of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio told AFP.

"Things like this had never, ever been seen before," he said.

Faster, please.

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