Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

AFA: How Federal Spending Deal Impacts Individuals with Alzheimer’s

March 22, 2018

Here’s how the Omnibus Federal Spending Deal impacts individuals with Alzheimer’s disease:

Boost to NIA/NIH Funding

The omnibus federal spending deal, currently being considered by Congress, will deliver a $414 million funding increase for Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  This brings federal investment toward finding a cure or more effective treatment for Alzheimer’s to $1.82 billion for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018—the closest Washington has come to providing the $2 billion a year that leading scientists say is needed to make meaningful progress by 2025, as outlined in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.

Anti-Wandering Law

The spending deal will also enact Kevin and Avonte’s Law, which will deliver $10 million in federal funding over the next 5 years to support public safety programs that enable first responders to quickly locate individuals with Alzheimer’s or autism who wander away from their caregivers.

AFA’s President & CEO, Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. stated, “AFA applauds Congressional leaders for coming to this agreement. This spending package takes important steps forward in funding the fight against Alzheimer’s and helping the over 5 million Americans living with dementia and their family caregivers.  Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America, and the only one in the top ten without a cure or reversible treatment; every dollar we can invest in research brings us one step closer to ending the Alzheimer’s epidemic.

“Enacting Kevin and Avonte’s law will protect our nation’s most vulnerable families from the hazards of wandering, which is a very common and dangerous behavior among individuals with Alzheimer’s. The funding will provide law enforcement with tools and technologies that will aid them in safely reuniting missing individuals with their families.

“It’s heartening to see progress being made, but our work is not done. The deadline to achieve the primary goal of the national Alzheimer’s plan—to find a cure or more efficacious treatment by 2025— is fast approaching.  We need to aggressively pursue funding that will put us on a viable path to material progress.  To that end, AFA is calling upon Congress to build upon this historic development and continue to make finding an Alzheimer’s cure a national priority by committing to a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research funding at NIH for FY 2019.

“At the same time, we recognize that until there’s a cure, there’s a need for care, so we will continue to call for increased funding for caregiver services, training and support to ensure those who are on the frontlines of the fight against Alzheimer’s have the tools to provide optimal and quality care,” Fuschillo added.