Alzheimer's is Everywhere
Yes, Alzheimer's is everywhere. And I'm not referring to the new study that forecasts that the number of people worldwide with Alzheimer's Disease will quadruple between now and 2050 to more than 100 million cases. Staggering, sobering, daunting, scary.
No, I'm referring to the sudden critical mass of media coverage of the disease. It's as if the national media cabal (no, conspiracy theorists there really isn't one--that I know of, at least) had a meeting and decided that this week it will be all about Alzheimer's. It's possible that every other major media outlet had the same idea we did--to build stories around the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference on the Prevention of Dementia in Washington, DC.
Ahead of the event where I reported live yesterday--we put together a piece on the disease, some of the leading experimental drugs, the companies developing them and the potential multi-billion dollar market. And we complemented that with news and CEO interviews from a couple of the companies that presented stock-moving information at the conference (MDVN,NRMX.)
My producer, Ruth, and her editor finished cutting our Alzheimer's story last Friday afternoon. That evening, I decided that since I'd be covering the conference on Monday that'd be a good idea to see the new movie, "Away From Her", about a couple grappling with the disease and its effect on their relationship. I'm not a movie critic, but it's one of the most powerful, moving films I've seen in awhile. And Julie Christie gives an Oscar-worthy performance. The next morning when I start my car to go to the gym, NPR is doing a long piece on the widow of an artist who had Alzheimer's and who had painted self-portraits that depicted the disease's toll on his face and psyche.
Then, the next morning I open "The New York Times" Sunday Business section and lo and