Colorado patients praise Obama’s $100M plan to research the brain

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President Obama unveiled a $100 million initiative to study and map the brain Tuesday.

If successful the research could help find treatments and cures for diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and more.

“Imagine if no family had to feel helpless watching a loved one disappear behind Parkinson’s, or struggle in the grip of epilepsy,” the president said.

Five million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease at a cost of $200 billion a year.  John Wells of Centennial is one of them.

His wife Debra says John was diagnosed in his 50’s, and had to stop working.  Eventually she had to quit her job to care for him.

Debra is thrilled about the president’s brain mapping initiative and is hopeful the research will one day help families like hers.

“People feel hopeless when they get this diagnosis, and it would be great if we could get better treatments,” Wells said.

Dr. Adam Wolff, the Director of Neurology at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, says this is an exciting proposition.  “We hope that the $100 million can jump start an effort into understanding and potentially treating or curing some of our most difficult diseases,” Dr. Wolff said.

The White House is touting the economic returns of scientific research.  But in these days of budget cuts, it could be a tough debate on Capitol Hill.

For more information and resources about Alzheimer’s disease call the Alzheimer's Association 24 hour helpline 1(800) 272-3900 or visit their website here .

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