CHICAGO | Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:39am EST
(Reuters) – The U.S. government has set a deadline of 2025 for finding an effective way to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, an ambitious target considering there is no cure on the horizon and one that sets a firm deadline unlike previous campaigns against cancer or AIDS.
A panel of Alzheimer’s experts this week has been fleshing out the first comprehensive plan by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fight Alzheimer’s disease, an effort mandated by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act signed into law by President Barack Obama last year.
The law called for the government to create a blueprint to beat Alzheimer’s but provided no new money for the effort.
More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, a brain disease that causes dementia and affects primarily elderly people. Some experts estimate the disease costs the United States more than $170 billion annually to treat.