This year marks the 10th anniversary of two important achievements in medical research—the first, a major milestone in understanding the genetic foundation of all human beings; the second, a comprehensive information service to help medical researchers and the public track clinical research trials of experimental treatments for many diseases and medical conditions.
On pages 2-3, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), discusses the groundbreaking research that mapped our human genetic makeup. And he explains how and why the real work of turning that map into tools to reduce or eliminate diseases is just beginning.
The second celebration marks the launch in 2000 of the free public information resource, ClinicalTrials.gov—the U.S. government's registry of medical research trials. NIH's National Library of Medicine runs this giant database, which currently holds more than 95,000 research trials underway in 173 countries. You will find out more about the importance of clinical trials starting on page 4.
Our cover story in this issue (starting on page 16) is about Alzheimer's disease (AD), which slowly destroys a person's memory, thinking skills, and ability to do everyday tasks. Although much research is under way to help prevent and treat Alzheimer's, finding effective treatments remains frustratingly difficult. Gracing our cover are six of the Alzheimer's Association's celebrity Alzheimer's Champions who help to spread the word about the importance of Alzheimer's research and education.
This issue also features useful information on:
- phobias and other anxiety disorders (starting on page 12),
- the importance of preventing coronary artery disease to save your heart (starting on page 23), and
- what can happen when people don't take care of their teeth and gums (page 8).
We hope that the information in this issue of NIH MedlinePlus magazine helps you and your loved ones stay healthier!
Donald West King, M.D., Chairman
Friends of the National Library of Medicine
Let Us Hear From You!
We want your feedback on the magazine, ideas for future issues, as well as questions and suggestions. E-mail your letters to Managing Editor Selby Bateman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send mail to Editor, NIH MedlinePlus Magazine, P.O. Box 18427, Greensboro, NC 27419-8427. We will feature some of your letters in upcoming issues.
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