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Congress Agrees to Increased Alzheimer’s Research Funding

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

After years of shrinking funding, Alzheimer’s researchers are now getting something they have been requesting for years: increased funding for Alzheimer’s research. In December, Congress reached an agreement for an unprecedented increase in Alzheimer’s research funding. Learn more about the impact of these funds, presented by Allentown Alzheimer’s home care provider, Home Care Assistance.

The 2016 budget allocates an extra $350 million for Alzheimer’s research, a 60 percent increase that brings total funding to $936 million. Since the passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) in 2010, funding has more than doubled. NAPA was signed into law by President Obama to create a national plan to address the Alzheimer’s disease crisis and coordinate efforts to target the disease across the government.

Alzheimer’s research funding has been increased annually since NAPA was passed with budget increases of $25 to $100 million per year. The huge size of the latest increase in funding may be thanks to the 2014 Alzheimer’s Accountability Act. This act was passed to direct the National Institute of Health (NIH) to create a bypass budget to spell out how much funding would be necessary to meet the milestones in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. Bypass budgets go directly to the president to avoid Congress. The first NAPA bypass budget has already been prepared by NIH calling for total Alzheimer’s funding of $961 million in 2017.

The 2016 budget spells out just how the increased funding can be put to use to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Goals for the funding include developing new technology to monitor disease progression, funding clinical studies, and investigating how inflammation, sleep quality, and other factors may affect the disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than $226 billion is now spent on treating Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. If the Alzheimer’s crisis continues at this rate, this number may exceed $1 trillion by 2050. The Washington Post reports that $2 billion in annual funding will be necessary to bring the disease under control.

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s and could use help meeting his or her care needs, don’t hesitate to contact Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874. As a trusted elder care agency in Allentown, we help seniors with cognitive impairment maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle in the comfort of home. To learn more, please call a friendly Care Manager at 484-350-3874 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.