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Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Address Senate Special Committee on Aging, Calling for Urgent Action Against Alzheimer's Disease
Date:5/14/2008

The Alzheimer's Study Group Outlines a National Plan

WASHINGTON, May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich presented testimony to a special hearing of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, convened by Chairman Senator Herbert Kohl (D-WI) specifically to hear updates on the fight against Alzheimer's disease. This was Justice O'Connor's first public statement about her commitment to fighting this disease that has struck her husband, John, and over 5 million other Americans.

Justice O'Connor is a member of the Alzheimer's Study Group, an independent and bipartisan alliance of national leaders. The Study Group was launched in 2007 with the bipartisan support of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease to develop a coordinated national plan to fight the disease. Speaker Gingrich, who co-chairs the Alzheimer's Study Group with former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, outlined the Group's work in his testimony.

"I became an Alzheimer's caregiver when my husband, John, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1990 and I have a first-hand understanding and a profound empathy for the millions of other caregiving families around the nation," said Justice O'Connor in her written testimony. "Alzheimer's is a tragic disease for families, but it is also fast becoming a national disease -- a national health crisis. That is why I am here today as a member of the Alzheimer's Study Group, which represents an important step in helping the United States meet a bold national goal -- one that seeks nothing less than to eradicate Alzheimer's disease."

According to Speaker Gingrich, "With almost a half a million Americans developing this terrible, incurable disease each year, $150 billion in annual costs to the federal government alone, and all the trend lines growing worse each day, I think we can all agree that Alzheimer's is a national crisis. If
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SOURCE The Alzheimer's Study Group
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