The 2014 Fiscal Budget signed into law on January 17, 2014, by President Obama, includes an increase of $122 million for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach, and caregiver support. The bill is a step in the right direction in the fight to eradicate Alzheimer’s Disease, the fifth leading cause of death for adults over the age of 65.
Care costs for Alzheimer’s patients exceed $200 billion annually and with cases of Alzheimer’s disease estimated to increase by 40% over the next ten years, it is clear that Alzheimer’s research needs to be a priority for the federal government. If the research is not made a priority on a national stage, Alzheimer’s cases are expected to triple by 2050.
Addressing the rising costs of the disease, the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 4, 2011. The National Plan outlines a strategy to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s by 2025. Other goals of The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease include enhancing the quality of care, expanding support for patients and their families, and increasing public awareness of the disease.
The first of its kind, the National Plan prioritizes Alzheimer’s research and outlines goals and strategies to tackle the disease. Increased funding for research through the federal budget will lead to more studies that can meet the goals of the National Plan, and hopefully, eradicate Alzheimer’s.
The increase of $122 million in the 2014 budget includes $100 million to the National Institute on Aging for Alzheimer’s research, $3.3 million for Alzheimer’s caregivers, $4 million for training, $10.5 million to expand caregiver services, and $4.2 million for programs that will increase public awareness. Also included in the 2014 Fiscal Year budget is $30 million to the National Institute of Health’s BRAIN Initiative, an initiative which could affect Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is the country’s most expensive condition, costing the nation $203 billion annually while only $503 million is spent on research. The increase in this year’s fiscal budget is a step in the right direction, but more can be done.
To support Alzheimer’s research funding, write to your congressmen, share your personal stories, and inspire our politicians to prioritize the fight against Alzheimer’s.
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