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Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

War Against Alzheimer’s Gets Big Boost from Obama Administration Today

New research funds of $130 million, more for education, support of Alzheimer’s Project Act

Researcher studies gene patternFeb. 7, 2012 – The battle against Alzheimer’s disease is getting a gigantic number of reinforcements from the Obama Administration today, including $130 million in research funding and $26 million for caregiver support and education. These actions follow the signing last month by President Obama of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act.

The new law calls for an aggressive and coordinated national Alzheimer’s disease plan. The Act also establishes an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, which brings together some of the Nation’s foremost experts on Alzheimer’s disease to inform the development of the national plan.

 

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The preliminary framework for the National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan identifies key goals including preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. As work on the plan continues, the Obama Administration says it is taking action now.

The administration is it is making available immediately $50 million for “cutting-edge” research. In addition, the administration announced that its Fiscal Year 2013 budget will boost funding for Alzheimer’s research by $80 million.

Together, the fiscal years 2012 and 2013 investments total $130 million in new Alzheimer’s research funding over two years – over 25 percent more than the current annual Alzheimer’s research investment.

Today’s allocations also includes an additional $26 million in caregiver support, provider education, public awareness and improvements in data infrastructure.

“Today’s announcement reflects this administration’s commitment to confronting Alzheimer’s, a disease that takes a devastating toll on millions of Americans,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“We can’t wait to act; reducing the burden of Alzheimer’s disease on patients and their families is an urgent national priority.”

As many as 5.1 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, which is a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills. With the aging of the U.S. population, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease could more than double by 2050.

“These projections are simply staggering,” said National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “This new funding will accelerate NIH’s effort to use the power of science to develop new ways of helping people with Alzheimer’s disease and those at risk.”

The additional NIH research funding will support both basic and clinical research. Investments will include research to identify genes that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and testing therapies in individuals at the highest risk for the disease. On the clinical side, the funds may be used to expand efforts to move new therapeutic approaches into clinical trials and to develop better databases to assess the nation’s burden of cognitive impairment and dementia.

The initiative announced today also includes $26 million to support additional goals in the preliminary National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan. While the plan continues to be developed, experts have identified several goals that will be supported by today’s announcement, including support for caregivers in the community, improving health care provider training, and raising public awareness.

“These new funds will help increase our understanding about how to manage Alzheimer’s disease, especially those services that allow families to plan in the early stages and support family caregivers,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee.

Fact Sheet:

Supports Goals of Preliminary National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan

This initiative also includes $26 million to support additional goals in the preliminary National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan. While the plan continues to be developed, experts have identified several high-priority goals that will be supported by today’s announcement, including:

   ● Education and outreach to improve the public’s understanding of Alzheimer’s disease starting this year;

   ● Outreach to enhance health care providers’ knowledge of the disease;

   ● Expanded support for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers in the community;

   ● Improved data collection and analysis to better understand Alzheimer’s disease’s impact on people with the disease, families and the health care system.

The preliminary National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan identifies other key goals including preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025; expanding patient and family support; optimizing care quality and efficiency; enhancing public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease; and tracking progress to drive improvement.

The National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan will be finalized in the Spring with further input from the public and the Advisory Council and will continue to inform action on Alzheimer’s disease.

>> Fact Sheet on efforts to fight Alzheimer's disease - click here

 

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