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Date: November 1st, 2009

Alliance Releases Latest Volume of The Silver Book Highlighting the Growing Burden of Neurological Disease and the Value of Medical Innovation

Washington, D.C. - In order to promote pro-innovation policies, today the Alliance for Aging Research released a new volume of The Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation. This latest addition to The Silver Book® series paints a comprehensive picture of the burden of neurological disease—with a focus on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases—the two most common neurological diseases in the United States. The volume was released at a Capitol Hill briefing in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Parkinson’s Action Network. The briefing featured medical and caregiving experts, as well as leaders from the three organizations.

The Silver Book® is published by the Alliance and is a unique almanac of nearly 2,000 compelling statistics and eye-opening facts that spotlight the mounting burden of chronic disease and the promise of innovation in mitigating that burden. While much of this information is usually buried in dense reports and technical studies, The Silver Book® extracts key findings and brings the well-referenced information to the fingertips of those shaping policy.

More than 6 million Americans currently suffer from some kind of neurological disease or condition. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease alone cost our nation as much as $175 billion a year in direct and indirect health care expenses. Fortunately, innovation in the field is bringing hope for major advances and breakthroughs.

With potentially expensive health care reform currently on the table, and with Baby Boomers at Medicare’s doorstep, it’s not surprising that policymakers are looking for ways to curb spending. However, it’s vital that national policies look to investments in innovation rather than short-term cost-cutting. “Just over a year from now, the Baby Boom generation will start to become the largest Medicare generation in history,” explains Daniel Perry, President and CEO of the Alliance. “Our best defense against this Silver Tsunami is to play to America’s strengths in scientific innovation. The Silver Book® has become a go-to resource for those interested in developing health policy, and we’re confident that this volume on neurological disease will be a welcome addition.”

The first volume of The Silver Book® was released in 2006 and quickly became a trusted resource for policymakers. The data from all of the volumes is available on-line in a searchable database that is continuously updated with new information. Visit www.silverbook.org to find data, submit information, and subscribe to the RSS feed.

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Founded in 1986, the Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of aging Americans through public and private funding of medical research and geriatric education. The Alliance combines the interest of top scientists, public officials, business executives, and foundation leaders to promote a greater national investment in research and new technologies that will prepare our nation for the coming senior boom, and improve the quality of life for today’s older generation.