alzheimer’s foundation of america calls on the trump administration to increase alzheimer’s research spending
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)—a national nonprofit organization, that unites more than 2,600 member organizations nationwide, in the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and to their families and caregivers—is calling upon President Trump, whose father had the disease, and his administration to increase annual spending on Alzheimer’s disease research to $2 billion. Spending on Alzheimer’s research is currently close to $1 billion, but leading Alzheimer’s disease scientists estimate that $2 billion in annual research funding is necessary to achieve the goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: to find a meaningful treatment or cure by 2025.
“Although Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one of the top 10 causes of death that has no cure or disease modifying treatment, funding for Alzheimer’s research still lags far behind other chronic illnesses,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. “I have seen many lives affected by this debilitating disease. More funding is desperately needed, and I am hopeful that the Administration will lead the charge in helping to create a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
The 2016 federal budget contained a record, 60 percent increase in Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the main agency responsible for Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With this increased appropriation, NIA spent more than $900 million for Alzheimer’s research in fiscal year 2016.
“As a former caregiver for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease, I am among the millions of people who have witnessed first-hand the devastating effect of this illness on a loved one,” said Bert E. Brodsky, AFA’s founder and board chairman. “When I founded AFA, I promised myself that I would do all I could to help other individuals facing the same predicament and to put an end to this disease. Increased federal funding is crucial in providing hope for a cure for the growing number of families affected by Alzheimer’s.”
In addition to budgeting $2 billion for Alzheimer’s disease research at the NIH, AFA is asking the Administration to provide a $40 million increase in enhanced investments for caregiver supports and services in fiscal year 2018, at the Administration for Community Living (ACL). The additional money would fund vital programs and services to help caregivers cope with the daily challenges of the disease. Studies have shown that increased caregiver supports can help improve health outcomes for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses and can delay the need for costly nursing home placement – two things that save precious government resources.
AFA is also calling for an increase of $5 million for the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program in the Department of Justice’s FY’18 budget. The program protects the safety of millions of Americans with dementia by helping local communities and law enforcement officials quickly find people with Alzheimer’s disease who wander away from their homes.
For more information on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and its programs and services, visit www.alzfdn.org or call AFA’s national toll-free helpline at 866-232-8484.
About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA):
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a non-profit organization that unites more than 2,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals living with dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a national, toll-free helpline (866-232-8484) staffed by licensed social workers, educational conferences and materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers, the National Memory Screening Program, and “AFA Partners in Care” dementia care training for healthcare professionals. For more information about AFA, call 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn