APRIL 29, 2009, AUSTIN STATE CAPITOL — Shortly before retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor addressed the Texas Senate on the need to fast-track Alzheimer’s research in the U.S., the Texas Alzheimer’s Research Consortium announced a new research focus on Alzheimer’s impact on Hispanics and the addition of a fifth institution to the Consortium.
Justice O’Connor, honored with a Senate resolution extolling her accomplishments in jurisprudence and Alzheimer’s advocacy, described retiring from the nation’s highest court to care for her husband with Alzheimer’s disease. Once there is an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, she said, “You don’t go to the doctor and get any immediate relief.” Instead, she has watched her husband live with Alzheimer’s for 17 years, gradually losing a lifetime of memories.
Praising the State of Texas for its leadership in Alzheimer’s research, she encouraged the 50 states to get involved in a national push for an Alzheimer’s breakthrough, similar to the research effort that helped to rein in polio and TB in the 1950s.
Following her address to the Senate, Justice O’Connor joined state leaders at a small luncheon held in her honor. Texas Governor Rick Perry offered remarks.