Comedian Seth Rogen slammed lawmakers for walking out during his congressional testimony about Alzheimer's disease.
"All those empty seats are senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer's," Rogen tweeted Feb. 26 after making his speech before a two-person senate panel. "Unless more noise is made, it won't change.
Not sure why only two senators were at the hearing. Very symbolic of how the government views Alzheimer's. Seems to be a low priority."
Seth, 31, had lobbied Congress to devote more money to finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease, but wound up speaking directly to only two senators. Sixteen other senators had either walked out during Rogen's testimony or didn't bother to show up at all.
During an emotional and sometimes humorous speech, Rogen revealed that his mother-in-law was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's at 55, and by 60 had become totally incapacitated.
"After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, she forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself, all by age 60," said Seth.
Rogen pointed to alarming statistics showing that 16 million Americans will be afflicted with Alzheimer's by 2050. Alzheimer's is the most costly disease in America, topping $200 billion in care-related expenses every year.
The exact cause of Alzheimer' disease is unknown, and there is no known cure. Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, recently said a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet can prevent or even reverse some instances of Alzheimer's, but more research is needed before it can be considered a cure.
Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller, were so disturbed by the impact the disease has had on their family that they launched Hilarity for Charity, a non-profit group that seeks to fund research and help families struggling with Alzheimer’s care.
"The situation is so dire that it caused me — a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child — to start an entire charity organization," Seth joked. "Americans whisper the word Alzheimer's. It's needs to be yelled and screamed."
The facts about Alzheimer’s:
- More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today.
- Another American develops Alzheimer’s disease every 68 seconds.
- By 2050, some 16 million Americans will have the disease.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.