Alzheimer’s Disease, mice, and miracles

iStock_000004804600MediumAlzheimer’s Disease is devastating. I know this; I’ve seen the effects of Alzheimer’s in my own family. Currently, there is no cure for this disease that affects over 5 million Americans. And by 2050, that number could triple. The cost of this disease is staggering- and that doesn’t just include the estimated cost to the U.S. of $203 billion in 2013, or the projected $1.2 trillion that it will cost us by 2050. I’m talking about the cost of watching your loved ones slowly forget who you are, who they are, and everything they’ve spent their lives working to achieve. If you’ve been touched by this disease, you know what I mean. This is a disease that’s worth fighting. With everything we’ve got.

Animal rights activists argue that we can’t learn anything from animals. But that’s simply not true. By working with Alzheimer’s mouse models, researchers are learning how the disease starts, and they’re already working on ways to develop early treatments that could benefit humans. This type of research would be impossible to carry out in humans; by the time humans begin to show clinical signs of the disease, significant damage has already being done. We want hope; we want cures; we want a future; we want a miracle. That’s where the mice come in.