People sometimes wonder why such research remains necessary. The answer is simple. Though many formerly lethal infectious diseases (such as smallpox and polio) have been controlled, people’s lives are still threatened by bioterrorism, emerging diseases, (AIDS, Ebola, and West Nile), and other still uncured diseases like malaria. Malaria, for example, kills more people each year than AIDS, and the search for an effective vaccine against this ancient adversary continues. Chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and depression, which are debilitating and emotionally devastating for patients and their families, comprise another important area of study. Epilepsy, a neurological condition that most often appears in late childhood or early adolescence, continues to wreak havoc on the lives of millions of Americans, and currently available medications may only partially control seizures while causing serious side effects. Finally, scientific understanding of the way that genes, environment, and behavior interact to create diseases like cancer, obesity, and drug addiction remains inadequate, as does current treatment, which often falls far short of a cure. diseases

HYPERTENSION—High blood pressure

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