WASHINGTON, D.C., August 23, 2018 — The U.S. Senate voted today to approve a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the 2019 fiscal year. If signed into law, this would mark the fourth consecutive year of historic action by the U.S. Congress to address the growing Alzheimer’s crisis through funding research.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, the most expensive disease in the country. A growing public health crisis, Alzheimer’s threatens to bankrupt Medicare and as many as 14 million Americans could be living with the disease by 2050.
“Every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. develops the disease,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) President and CEO. “But, thanks to increased NIH funding American scientists are now advancing basic disease knowledge, ways to reduce risk, new biomarkers for early diagnosis and drug targeting, and developing the needed treatments to move to clinical testing."
Since the passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), legislation championed by the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM, the federal government has taken decisive action in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. In addition to monumental funding increases for research, critical care planning services are now available through Medicare for individuals with cognitive impairment, and the Department of Health and Human Services is developing a plan to address the needs of our nation’s family caregivers.
“We are grateful to the Senate for taking this bipartisan action which will allow the NIH to continue to accelerate research on this devastating and fatal disease,” continued Johns. “We appreciate Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for their continued leadership to secure the funding the scientific community says is needed to address Alzheimer’s.”
The $425 million increase approved today is consistent with the request made by the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM. Advocates have held thousands of meetings with their elected officials sharing their personal stories of how Alzheimer’s has affected them, and calling on Congress to increase research funding at the NIH.
The House Appropriations Committee passed its Labor-HHS budget in July and included a $401 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the NIH. As both chambers of Congress return to Washington to finalize the FY19 budget over the coming months, the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM will work with Congress to ensure the highest possible research funding amount for Alzheimer’s and dementia at the NIH.
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.
Alzheimer’s Impact Movement
The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) is the advocacy arm of the Alzheimer’s Association. AIM works to develop and advance policies to overcome Alzheimer’s disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.