The War (on Terror) on Alzheimer's

Daniel R. George, Peter J. Whitehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In the decade following the tragedies of 9/11, a US-led "War on Terror" has coincided with a US-led "War on Alzheimer's disease". Not only has the rhetoric from these two wars overlapped and produced similar practical and conceptual problems, the campaigns have also become interwoven through the emerging public health issue of war-related head injuries, as well as a shared neglect for environmental contributions to human suffering. This article first explores similarities in the framing and prosecution of both wars, and then considers the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and traumatic environmental injuries (TEI) in the context of a society facing the increased prevalence of dementia. Ultimately, it is argued that addressing the challenges of cognitive aging and preventing violent social conflict both require a vernacular of higher ideals and values - as well as new language patterns rising out of the ecological movement - to trump the more expedient war rhetoric that has disproportionately marked public discourse around terrorism and Alzheimer's disease during the past decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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