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French President Sarkozy promotes Alzheimer's research

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Tuesday the creation of a commission to come up with a plan to fight Alzheimer's and improve treatment of patients suffering from the disease.

Sarkozy, who visited a retirement home and the geriatric wing of a hospital in the southwestern city of Dax, said he hoped French researchers would develop an effective treatment for the degenerative illness.

"We must provide doctors with the means to find the solution," said Sarkozy, who made Alzheimer's research a campaign promise before his May election. "The objective must be the discovery, in France, of valid means of diagnosis and a treatment of unquestionable effectiveness."

The former head of France's public health care system, Dr. Joel Menard, is to lead the commission, which will present its proposals on Sept. 21. Sarkozy said his plan will be financed by a small fee tacked on to all patients' doctors' visits and medications, not exceeding a total of EUR 4 ($5.50) a month per patient.

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