Many of us may have missed the news regarding the historic funding bill signed into law late last year by President Obama which provides a $350 million increase to Alzheimer’s disease research in FY 2016. Not only is this a 60% increase from the 2015 budget but is the greatest increase in federal spending to-date.
In June of this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an additional $400 million increase for research funding. Then in July the House Appropriations Committee approved an additional $350 million for Alzheimer’s disease research funding at the NIH. If additional amounts near these levels are signed into law, it would be a very important step in the fight for new treatments or an ultimate cure.
Finding a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s is now more important than ever. The Alzheimer’s Association cites projections that state, “Today, more than 5 million people are living with the disease, and, without medical breakthroughs, by 2050 this may be as high as 16 million people at a cost of $1.1 trillion per year to Medicare and Medicaid.”
Add to that the fact that Alzheimer’s is the only top ten cause of death that is not preventable, curable or the progression slowed. With the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s set to triple in just over a generation, it is not a small problem.
While there are currently several drugs used to treat the disease, none of them treat the underlying cause of the disease. However with this new funding from the federal government, we can only hope that scientists will be able to discover new treatments to advance the fight. Bill Thies, PH.D., Senior Scientist in Residence for the Alzheimer’s Association states that, “Investing in research now will cost our nation far less than the cost of care for the rising number of Americans who will be affected by Alzheimer’s in coming decades.”
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.
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Sources: alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_treatment_horizon.asp alz.org/news_and_events_102432.asp, alz.org/news_and_events_103667.asp