Today, the call for increased Alzheimer's research funding from Alzheimer's Association advocates reached a critical milestone, as the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee announced a proposed $400 million increase for Alzheimer's research at the NIH. This bipartisan effort was led by Alzheimer's champions Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who also oversaw last year's historic funding increase.
"For the second year in a row the Senate has taken a critical step towards ending the Alzheimer's epidemic," said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association. "At a cost of $236 billion a year, Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease in the U.S. But much more importantly, it is a terrible reality for millions of American families. Today's announcement will provide important funding for research that can help bring a way to prevent, treat or cure this devastating disease."
Alzheimer's disease is the only leading cause of death in the United without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. Foremost experts have stated that at least $2 billion a year is necessary to meet the first goal of the National Alzheimer's Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025. Following last year's historic $350 million increase, research for Alzheimer's and related dementias currently receives $991 million in NIH funding.
"If signed into law, today's funding increase will mark an important milestone in Alzheimer's research — bringing us past the halfway mark toward the funding level experts agree is necessary to end this epidemic," said Robert Egge, chief public policy officer of the Alzheimer's Association. "On behalf of the Alzheimer's Association and our advocates, we thank the subcommittee for their tremendous bipartisan effort that brings new hope to millions in Missouri, Washington and across the country."
Today, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease, and there are more than 15 million Americans serving as a caregiver for a friend or family member. Alzheimer's Association grassroots advocates and staff have worked tirelessly to encourage Congress to address the Alzheimer's epidemic. As a result, Congress is on track with today's developments to have more than tripled NIH funding for Alzheimer's research over its level when Congress unanimously passed the National Alzheimer's Project Act in December 2010.
The full Senate Committee on Appropriations will consider the bill later this week.
For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit alz.org.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.