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Reagan Focused Attention on Alzheimer's Research (since 2003 #6 death cause in the US !)
reuteres ^ | Sun Jun 7 | Sarah Tippit

Posted on 06/08/2004 4:58:32 PM PDT by Truth666

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One of Ronald Reagan 's greatest legacies is one he may not have been fully aware that he created: focusing attention on the disease that took his life, a researcher said on Sunday.
"We're mourning the loss of an extraordinary man, a man who finished the second term of his presidency at the age of 77, but who still was not able to conquer this devastating disease," said Dr. Gary Small, an expert on Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites) and the author of two books on the subject.
People are now receiving earlier diagnoses and better treatments for the incurable brain-wasting disease partly because Reagan supported Alzheimer's research as president and because he went public with his diagnosis in 1994, increasing awareness of the need for more research, Small said.
"What his illness has done is brought the world's attention to the necessity for accelerated research. While a cure is still far away, we now have the technology to detect, and ... at least delay, onset, and that to me is very close to a cure that is foreseeable within the next decade," Small said.
Reagan, 93, died on Saturday after a decade-long battle with the disease.
During that time, his health slowly deteriorated. Eventually, he did not even recognize his devoted wife, former first lady Nancy Reagan.
But while he was able, the former president was an advocate for Alzheimer's research.

SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN FEDERAL FUNDING

In 1995, the Reagans joined with the Alzheimer's Association to create the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute, dedicated to accelerating the progress in Alzheimer research, said Kathryn Kane, a senior vice president with the Alzheimer's Association. Today the institute awards $15 million in research grants each year.

"The two greatest contributions the Reagans made in Alzheimer's was hugely raising public awareness of the disease and making it okay to talk about it. It's a disease where there's a lot of denial and shame attached to it. Ronald Reagan brought it out of the closet," she said.

As her husband declined, Nancy Reagan spearheaded public awareness campaigns and described what it was like to be a caretaker for an Alzheimer's patient, which she referred to as "the long goodbye." She publicly advocated for stem cell research as a way to help others with the disease.

Maureen Reagan, the former president's daughter with actress Jane Wyman, served on the Alzheimer's Association's national board, organized fundraisers and asked Congress for more funding before she died in 2001.

The Reagans' efforts resulted in a huge increase in federal funding, from $22 million annually in the early 1980s to $680 million per year today.

Doctors now are better able to diagnose the disease early, and provide patients with drugs and other measures to delay its progression.

Research has shown that various lifestyle choices can stave off the progression of Alzheimer's, just as they can slow cardiovascular disease and the onset of diabetes, said Small, whose new book, "The Memory Prescription," outlines a program for improving brain health.

One-third of the risk for Alzheimer's comes from a person's genetic makeup, Small said. "That means two-thirds has to do with nongenetic factors. Lifestyle choices make a huge difference."

Sticking to a diet that keeps blood sugar levels in check can help keep the brain healthy, he said. Maintaining a normal body weight, exercising, reducing stress and performing brain-stimulating tasks can also help protect the brain from deterioration, Small said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alzheimer; healthcare; ronaldreagan
I didn't see any thread focussing on this key aspect of the life of Ronald Reagan.
Alzheimer's is increasing exponentially in the last 10 years. Only since 1998 one of the 10 most frequent causes of death, has climbed to #6 in 2003 !
So the question is : besides the aging structure of the population, why does this happen ?
1 posted on 06/08/2004 4:58:33 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: Truth666

is this a new phenomenon or we just didn't recognize Alzheimer's before?


2 posted on 06/08/2004 5:00:34 PM PDT by I_killed_kenny
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To: I_killed_kenny

Alzheimer's is primarily caused by excess aluminum consumption, most of which is right in our tap water supply.


3 posted on 06/08/2004 5:05:45 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Extremer than any Extremist!!!)
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To: I_killed_kenny

When it was not recognised it would still be recognised as demency, so you can still compare the statistics.


4 posted on 06/08/2004 5:06:15 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: I_killed_kenny
is this a new phenomenon or we just didn't recognize Alzheimer's before?

One hundred years ago, the average lifespan of an American was 47 years. People used to die of other things before Alzheimers could express itself.

More recently, great strides have been made in curing cancer - another reason that people are living long enough for things to go wrong in their brain.

We like to think that we are "medically advanced", but science still can't explain why we do what we do every night: sleep.

We really know very little about the human brain.

5 posted on 06/08/2004 5:08:32 PM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: Polybius; LadyDoc
My mother died last year of what presented like Alzheimers - some form of dementia, anyway. She had all the symptoms over a ten-year course. First the forgetfullness, then the combativeness, then the incontinence, then the vegetative state.

But the doctors would never diagnose her with Alzheimers, even though there are supposed to be tests now that are fairly accurate (other than a frozen slide of the brain).

I always assumed that this reluctance to diagnose was a medicare thing.

Can you shed any light on why a doctor would be reluctant to diagnose Alzheimers?

6 posted on 06/08/2004 5:15:30 PM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: snopercod
I agree. Reagan may have had Alzheimer's but it did not kill him. His quality of life certainly was not good, but for the most part, at 93 your time is up no matter what illness you may have.
7 posted on 06/08/2004 5:21:38 PM PDT by martinidon ("who would Saddam and Osama vote for in this years election...")
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To: snopercod; I_killed_kenny
One hundred years ago, the average lifespan of an American was 47 years. People used to die of other things before Alzheimers could express itself.

I wonder what that average age is of those who die from Alzheimers? I have serious qualms about using human embryos for human spare parts. I really can't see justifying such goolish procedures just so octogenerians are prevented from going senile.

8 posted on 06/08/2004 5:42:32 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: martinidon
Does Alzheimer's kill? Reagan died, if I have it right, of pneumonia -- just like my father-in-law a few years ago.

But as regards age I will note that my grandfather at 94 quit riding horses only after his wife, 88, fell from her horse when it shied at a train ("maybe we're getting a little old for this"). They, and my grandmother, went long past 93. And my wife's grandmother is going strong still at 103.

My wife's family might soon see a repeat of a situation a long time ago where the matriarch in her clan said (as quoted), "Arise, my daughter, and go to your daughter, for your daughter's daughter has had a daughter. (I will note that on both sides we've not been quick to marry and have children, unlike a friend who was a grandfather in his mid-30s.)

93 years? Most of your years are behind you, certainly. But there are those who seem genetically predisposed to live longer; their time is not "up."

9 posted on 06/08/2004 5:52:08 PM PDT by sionnsar (http://trad-anglican.faithweb.com/ ||| sionnsar: the part of the bagpipe where the melody comes out)
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To: I_killed_kenny
...I don't think the disease is new. The symptoms were attributed to some other disease. The question is, where will the stem cells come from? The debate and divide is all ready a bitter battle...

...The test tube all the way to partial birth abortion...

10 posted on 06/08/2004 5:54:58 PM PDT by gargoyle
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To: Paleo Conservative
Nancy Reagan ... publicly advocated for stem cell research as a way to help others with the disease.
It's sad to see that it was his beloved wife that was brainwashed, not him.
More on this : this google search will just result 1 result ...
11 posted on 06/08/2004 5:55:41 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: snopercod
Can you shed any light on why a doctor would be reluctant to diagnose Alzheimers?

There was a Medicare issue in the past but that is no longer the case.

However, when dealing with Government bureaucrats, maybe her doctors did not want to take any chances or maybe they were not aware that the Medicare regs had changed.

Under new federal regulations, Medicare patients can no longer be denied reimbursement for the costs of mental health services, hospice care, or home health care just because they have Alzheimer's. Medicare's assumption for years was that treatment was useless because people with the disease were unable to improve medically. Studies have shown that people can benefit from "pharmacologic, physical, occupational, speech-language, and other therapies." The new law states that Medicare covers all medically reasonable and necessary services, with limited exceptions. Too often, Medicare automatically and wrongly refuses to pay for treatment for people with certain conditions. ........... Making new at-home services available to Alzheimer's patients will enable them to live longer on their own, with greater ability to function. ............ If you have trouble getting Medicare or an HMO to pay, contact the Medicare Rights Center at 212-869-3850.

12 posted on 06/08/2004 6:13:15 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: Truth666

I don't think Alzheimers is new. As another poster said, until the last couple of decades nobody lived as long as we do now. My grandfather was once a magnificent figure of a man. In his 70s Alzheimers struck him down. By the time he died at 83 he had shriveled away to skin and bones and couldn't walk, barley talked and only remembered one person, my aunt. His father died at 45 and his grandfather died younger than that. Had they lived long enough who knows? It's been said that prostate cancer is more common now because men simply live long enough to get it now.

A few days ago I offended a co-worker when I told her flatly that I'm sick of hearing about AIDS and am far more worried about unfashionable diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers. She was aghast and hasn't spoken to me since.


13 posted on 06/08/2004 6:29:02 PM PDT by thathamiltonwoman
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To: Truth666

I don't think Alzheimers is new. As another poster said, until the last couple of decades nobody lived as long as we do now. My grandfather was once a magnificent figure of a man. In his 70s Alzheimers struck him down. By the time he died at 83 he had shriveled away to skin and bones and couldn't walk, barley talked and only remembered one person, my aunt. His father died at 45 and his grandfather died younger than that. Had they lived long enough who knows? It's been said that prostate cancer is more common now because men simply live long enough to get it now.

A few days ago I offended a co-worker when I told her flatly that I'm sick of hearing about AIDS and am far more worried about unfashionable diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers. She was aghast and hasn't spoken to me since.


14 posted on 06/08/2004 6:29:19 PM PDT by thathamiltonwoman
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To: thathamiltonwoman
I told her flatly that I'm sick of hearing about AIDS and am far more worried about unfashionable diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers.
That's another of the things that shows the role of Reagan in History. Like the article points out.
15 posted on 06/08/2004 6:45:26 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: thathamiltonwoman
I don't think Alzheimers is new.
I don't question that. My question is : why the exponetial increase in demency forms (which includes Alzheimer's) ?
16 posted on 06/08/2004 6:50:45 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: thathamiltonwoman
BTW, if you want to know more of my interpretation of Reagan's role in (end times) History : June 5, 2004: Brushfire Threatens Structures in Santa Barbara County - 2 refineries and Reagan Ranch threatened
17 posted on 06/08/2004 7:12:19 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: snopercod
Alzheimer's can only be "diagnosed" via a brain biopsy.

However, if she had dementia but had many tiny strokes (which can be seen on an MRI or CT scan) she may have had multi infarct dementia, i.e. from numerous small strokes. OR other causes (B12 deficiency, Chronic brain damage from other causes etc)

Also, telling people they have Alzheimer's is a terrible diagnosis. They lose hope. Until a few years ago, it couldn't be treated, so why scare people who would probably die before they got very bad?

But now they do have Aricept and a few other medications that slow Alzheimer's disease, so they are more aggressive.

If your mom died last year, probably these medications weren't around to stop the slide into dementia. (They have been around for about ten years, but no proof they worked well, and had lots of side effects so we didn't use them much. Now they are cheaper, and we found they work a bit, so we tend to use them if the person is in good health otherwise).
18 posted on 06/09/2004 4:56:18 AM PDT by LadyDoc (liberals only love politically correct poor people)
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To: LadyDoc
Thanks. I knew about the biopsy, but had thought that there were some newer tests that were 80% accurate or so. But by the time we heard about those, it was really too late. None of her physicians ever suggested it. Same with Aricept et. al.

My brother and I kept a detailed medical history on her back then, listing daily "incidents" and moods. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but her dementia started when she was given ketoconazole at the UCLA medical center for a recalcitrant abcess on her upper palate.

19 posted on 06/09/2004 5:34:59 AM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: Polybius; LadyDoc
Under new federal regulations, Medicare patients can no longer be denied reimbursement for the costs of mental health services, hospice care, or home health care just because they have Alzheimer's.

Which implies that there were old federal regulations which denied all those things. That is what I always suspected.

Mom was always a self-pay, but the medicare system is so perverse that many times she wasn't allowed to pay for what she needed, and got the same soviet-style care as an indigent person would have.

There was one time when she had apparently had a TIA, and went to a SNF for recovery. I asked the doctor in charge at the nursing home if he intended to order a carotid ultrasound. He said, "No".

I almost jumped up and hit him when he told me, "Those are expensive and we have to watch what we spend, you know."

The attitude of a lot of the doctors we dealt with was, ''She's old and going to die anyway, why should we waste any money'', as if it was their money.

Don't get old, folks.

20 posted on 06/09/2004 5:51:47 AM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: Paleo Conservative
My mother was in her late 60s when it started, and died at 80.

The time in her life when she should have been out traveling the world and enjoying her friends and grandchildren was cruelly stolen from her.

21 posted on 06/09/2004 5:55:27 AM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: Polybius; LadyDoc
I didn't realize that I had the diary we kept on Mom here on this computer. Here is a chronology of teh beginning of her descent.
May 15, 1995 - Handwriting sample normal
May 15, 1995 - Dr. _______ - office visit complaining of wheezing: ECG, respiratory flow volume loop blood/urine tests (found and removed bloody mucus plugs in her nasal passages?)
May 22, 1995 - Dr. _______ biopsy roof of mouth
May 22, 1995 - Dr. _____ (pathologist) tissue exam
May 29, 1995 - Dr. _____ (pathologist) - tissue exam of mouth ulcer
Handwriting sample deteriorated somewhere during this time period
May 30, 1995 - Dr. _____ - another biopsy of roof of mouth
Jun 1, 1995 - Dr. _____ - office visit
Jun 30, 1995 - Dr. _____ - UCLA consult and laryngoscopy he prescribed Ketoconazole 200mG
July 3, 1995 - Fall at (retirement home), hit head on wall - Taken to _____ Hospital Emergency room complaining of shakiness and dizziness. Temperature 98.2. Pulse 77, BP 148/78. EKG was normal. Blood test indicated WBC=11.7 (high), RBC=3.26(low), HG=10.2(low), HC=29.4(low), and Lymphocytes=1%(extremly low). Neuro: Mom was observed to be "oriented" (not confused), with normal verbal and movement of extremeties. The possibility of stroke was not mentioned in the ER report. Mom was discharged in fair condition to her primary care physician. Attending: Dr. _____ .
Jul 7, 1995 - Dr. _____ - office visit
Jul 11, 1995 -Dr. _____ - Blood test - similar results to previous test, but with bands now=15(high)/were=1 last week, glucose=115(high), Ca=8(low), P=2.2(low), total protein=5.6(low), and albumin=3.1 (slightly low).
Jul 17, 1995 - Dr. _____
Jul 19, 1995 - Dr. _____ - CT Brain with contrast - at Valley Hospital, ordered by Dr. _____. Prominant Cisterna Magna vs. retrocerebellar fluid collection and/or cerebellar atrophy. Posterior horn of the left lateral ventricle larger than the right. Mild generalized ventricular enlargement. "These findings are nonspecific and can represent deep white matter changes of aging, although these findings are also sometimes associated with normal pressure hydrocephalus." MRI recommended if clinically indicated. Read by ______, radiologist. Weakness and Jaundice - transfer to _____ (SNF) Dr. _____- positive Hemocult - taken off all medication except estrogen and Xanax?
Jul 24, 1995 - Dr. ____ - office consultation
Jul 25, 1995 - Dr. _____
Jul 29, 1995 - Dr. _____ - Blood test - Colonoscopy?
Jul 31, 1995 - Dr. _____ - Blood test - Lower G.I.? - negative results

Aug 4, 1995 - Echocardiogram - negative results - ______ Hospital

Aug 5, 1995 - Blood test at _____ , ordered by Dr. _____
Aug 7, 1995 - Endoscopy ordered by Dr. _____ and performed at Valley Hospital - small ulcer found in stomach - Zantac prescribed.
Aug 8, 1995 - Mom was examined by Dr. _____ , a neurologist. No diagnosis was made. He was asked if mom should be taken off estrogen, and he said he would check with Dr. _____ on this, and talk with the radiologist regarding the CT brain.
Aug 8/9, 1995 - personality change. Mom became "nasty" and combative. She insisted that she be given her car keys and her checkbook so she could drive to _____ .
Aug 12, 1995 - Slip and fall at ______ (SNF) - examined by Dr. _____[the doctor who wouldn't give her the carotid ultrasound]- right leg bruised/sprained (later her right hip was found to have been broken).
Aug 15, 1995 - EEG at Dr. _____ office
Aug 16, 1995 - Office visit with Dr. _____- followup on endoscopy
Aug 17?, 1995 - Office visit with hemotologist, Dr._____. Blood taken and analyzed in his lab. He said Mom's blood was "getting better".
Aug 17, 1995 - Mom returned to (retirement home) from _____(SNF). Walking with her walker.
ug 21, 1995 - Mom had been complaining of pain all night (and making lots of phone calls to the front desk), and was taken to the ER, where it was determined that her right hip was broken when she fell on Aug 10th. Dr ______ recommended hip replacement. Dr. _____ examined Mom while at the hospital. Negative hemocult.

If you have an comments on this, I would like to hear them. I promise not to sue anybody ;-)

22 posted on 06/09/2004 6:23:43 AM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: Mo1; SupplySider

cross linking


23 posted on 06/09/2004 6:20:24 PM PDT by snopercod (They often call me Snoper, but my realname, my realname, my realname is Mister Cod.)
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To: LadyDoc
Also, telling people they have Alzheimer's is a terrible diagnosis. They lose hope. Until a few years ago, it couldn't be treated, so why scare people who would probably die before they got very bad?

We didn't tell my mother that she had Alzheimer's .. I guess because it would have been to hard for her to handle

She knew she was losing her memory, but just blamed it on old age.

She passed away before it got really bad .. but her short term memory was gone .. all she could remember were things that happened when she was young.

24 posted on 06/09/2004 7:50:40 PM PDT by Mo1 (Make Michael Moore cry.... DONATE MONTHLY!!!)
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To: snopercod
But the doctors would never diagnose her with Alzheimers, even though there are supposed to be tests now that are fairly accurate (other than a frozen slide of the brain).

I don't think there is any test that determine for sure that a person has Alzheimer's. It's pretty much an observation of the person and tests to rule out possible other problems

At least that is how it was for my mother

25 posted on 06/09/2004 7:59:56 PM PDT by Mo1 (Make Michael Moore cry.... DONATE MONTHLY!!!)
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To: Mo1
PROGRESSION TO ALZHEIMER’S DEMENTIA CAN BE PREDICTED from NeurologyReviews.com
26 posted on 06/10/2004 4:07:03 AM PDT by snopercod (I am waiting for the rebirth of wonder.)
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To: snopercod

Thank you for that link


27 posted on 06/10/2004 5:30:02 AM PDT by Mo1 (Make Michael Moore cry.... DONATE MONTHLY!!!)
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To: Truth666

This is incorrect. Presdent Reagan did not die from Alzheimers but from pneumonia. The #1 killer is that respiratory disease that claims the aged and those with weakened immune systems. All this being said, Alzheimers is a cruel and twisted disease that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You don't want to live with a loved one til everything you knew about them is gone. If Nancy Reagan looked so frail, its not so much from age as it due to the burden of trying to reach someone who disappeared. Hopefully they can find a way to either prevent the onset of Alzheimers to stop it from progressing to the point where it could inflict serious damage on a person's mind.


28 posted on 06/10/2004 5:40:38 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: snopercod

Thank you for the link.


29 posted on 06/10/2004 9:18:38 AM PDT by SupplySider
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To: Mo1
I have read of recent research about the spice turmeric. They are saying that the active ingredient curcumin may work against the formation of plaques in the brain. I have also read that omega 3 fatty acids, as found in fish oils, walnuts, and flax, are being looked at.

I figure it can't hurt, so I give my mother (and myself) regular hits of turmeric heavy curry spice with the veggies, and walnuts with the morning coffee. It's tasty.

30 posted on 06/10/2004 9:23:28 AM PDT by SupplySider
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To: Truth666
Link to Princess Yasmin Aga Khan's comments on Reagan.
31 posted on 06/10/2004 9:30:31 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: SupplySider
Tumeric? Glad I like pickles :-)

I also read where vitamins C & E in combination may help prevent Alzheimer's.

But I keep forgetting to take them (really).

32 posted on 06/10/2004 9:37:28 AM PDT by snopercod (I am still waiting for the rebirth of wonder.)
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To: Truth666
Here's one of these headlines which I hate. OK, it's the 6th leading causes of death. So, let's talk about what are probably the 5 leading causes of death before this one:

1) Heart attacks
2)Cancer
3)Lung Disease
4)Accidental death
Can't even think of a 5th.

So what I'm saying is Alzheimer's is very low on the list. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but people don't die of Alzheimer's per se. Don't get me wrong, I know it's a terrible disease, my Mother is borderline, but I just hate any headline that misrepresents what it's trying to do.

33 posted on 06/10/2004 9:37:34 AM PDT by Hildy ( If you don't stand up for what's RIGHT, you'll settle for what's LEFT.)
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To: Truth666

But remember boys & girls - Reagan was responsible for AIDS.


34 posted on 06/10/2004 9:58:30 AM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: Hildy

5)suicide


35 posted on 06/10/2004 3:14:14 PM PDT by Truth666
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To: Hildy

4)Accidental death - not in top ten


36 posted on 06/10/2004 3:28:38 PM PDT by Truth666
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