Politics of science: Progress toward prevention of the dementia-Alzheimer's syndrome

Zaven S. Khachaturian, Ara S. Khachaturian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There exist many challenges hampering the discovery and development of effective interventions to prevent dementia. Three major trends have now intersected to influence the emerging interest in disease modifying therapies that may delay or halt dementia. The three crucial factors shaping this current focus are: (1) the emergence of the longevity revolution and the impact of a aging society, (2) the effects of the US Federal investment in research in advancing knowledge about the neurobiology of aging and dementia, and (3) the problem of US legislators and health policy makers to balance the allocation of evermore scarce research funding resources. The purpose of this essay is to provide a survey of the politics of science and to describe efforts to correctly manage the high level of expectations of both the patient and research communities. The perspective offered reviews the history and evolution of the ideas to treat or prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease as a national strategic goal. The aim is to evaluate the interplay between science and formulation of public policy for setting research priority. We use the history of developing US National Institute of Aging's extramural research programs on brain aging and Alzheimer's disease (Khachaturian, 2006; 2007) as an initial case study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
Volume43-44
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • aging
  • Alzheimer
  • Alzheimer's Accountability Act
  • Appropriations
  • Congress
  • dementia
  • Funding
  • Health policy
  • National Alzheimer Project Act
  • National Institute of Aging
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National plan
  • Public policy
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)

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