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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said the federal government needs to spend more on Alzheimer's research and treatment to stave off a potential fiscal disaster.
Gingrich, who met Friday with scientists and lawmakers in Phoenix, said it's pivotal that the federal government support research to find a cure or effective treatment for a disease that afflicts one in 10 Americans over the age of 65.
It makes more sense to invest significant money in research rather than fritter away money on Alzheimer's care, Gingrich said.
"Changing the oil in your car is a lot cheaper than changing your engine," he said. "Similarly, good health research is going to be a very major component of what makes the country work better."
Gingrich is co-chair of the national Alzheimer's Study Group, a bipartisan national task force that aims to develop a national strategy to combat the disease.