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Thanks to guest columnist Ron Louie of the University of Washington for his timely reflection on the need for an escalation in funding and research to find effective treatments for Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia [“Appoint an Alzheimer’s czar, and treat it like cancer,” Opinion, Dec. 30].

These medical and psychological problems do more than sap the mental acuity of those who have contracted psychically debilitating conditions. The lives of spouses, partners and other close family members are profoundly impacted as they are required to provide suitable care for their loved one. Close friends, too, are affected.

As the individual with dementia declines — sometimes slowly, sometimes precipitously — family, friends and paid helpers must carefully coordinate care to ensure the suffering person’s safety and comfort. It is a big job. Too many of our fellow citizens are already coping with varying degrees of memory loss.

Louie’s message is a clarion call to significantly enhance our society’s commitment to find salubrious approaches to alleviate and eventually cure these heartbreaking afflictions of the human brain.

Joe Martin, Seattle