Thierry Lhermitte is not only one of the most famous actors in France, he has also been one of the spokespersons of the Foundation for Medical Research for several years. It is mobilized in particular to raise funds and fto advance research on Alzheimer’s disease. On September 21, world day against this disease, it is launching a new campaign called “I remember” which aims to make this day a national event. It is on this occasion that the actor speaks in the media, in order to take stock of the research and the discoveries made but also to call for donation, “essential” according to him.
In an interview with JDD, Thierry Lhermitte explains why he wants to support research. “In 2020,one in four French people over 65will be affected. Our health care system will be in danger. If people want to cure themselves with turmeric, let them go! But we will not heal that way. The urgency is to advance in knowledge. Science does not advance with buzz on the Internet, but with evidence that must be reproduced, ”he attests. According to Inserm estimates around 900,000 people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease today and they should indeed be 1.3 million within two years, due to the increase in life expectancy.
From prevention to treatment, progress is expected
There is currently no treatment that can prevent, cure or stop the course of Alzheimer’s disease, although some can reduce the symptoms of the disease. But as the Health Insurance specifies, “these drugs have significant adverse effects: digestive disorders, falls and neuropsychiatric disorders in particular” Given their low efficacy and poor tolerance, the High Authority for Health (HAS) has in fact considered that care rests above all on appropriate non-drug management. That is why these drugs so far used are no longer reimbursedsince August 1, 2018.
The challenge of research therefore consists in better understanding the mechanisms the origin of the disease to develop drugs that can actually slow down or treat this condition. “From prevention to new therapeutic strategies, a great number of avenues of research are to be explored”, specifies the France Alzheimer association. If the state itself finances major research programs and industries invest money, Thierry lhermitte would like to remind you that private donation is essential to move forward in this area. “It’s a third of the researchers’ budget. It is quickly transported to the laboratories and corresponds to the needs, ”he adds.
In addition to medical advances in themselves, advancing research also helps to limitthe cost of support long-term patients. The World Health Organization estimates that the overall societal economic costs of dementia around the world increased from $ 604 billion in 2010 to $ 818 billion in 2015, or more than 1% of global gross domestic product. By 2030, this cost is expected to have more than doubled to $ 2 trillion. In addition to a curative treatment, research work is therefore also essential to progress in the fields risk reduction and that of diagnosis and thus limit the cost of this treatment.
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