Alzheimer's & Mental Health News for Senior Citizens

Alzheimer's & Mental Health News

Alzheimer’s research funding nears historic levels in Congressional action

Key Senate and House committee pass 60% increase to $350 million to fight AD

The Capitol at nightJune 29, 2015 - The TV box was over flowing with news last week and generally pushed out of the headlines a very big story for senior citizens – record shattering funding for Alzheimer’s disease research was sailing through Congressional committees.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the historic 60% increase in research funding last Thursday, pushing the total to $350 million. If passed into law, this would be the largest increase in Alzheimer’s funding to date, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.


The association reported that the bipartisan effort in the Senate was led by Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Minority Member Patty Murray (D-WA).

“With this bipartisan call for a 60% increase in Alzheimer’s disease funding, Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Subcommittee Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray are making history, said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“More importantly, they are demonstrating to the millions of Americans affected by this devastating and fatal disease that they will not suffer indefinitely.”

Just the day before, the action had been in the House.

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) bill, including an additional $300 million for Alzheimer’s disease research. Rep. Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) first proposed this landmark increase.

The Alzheimer’s Association applauded Congressman Cole, Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) and all members of the House Appropriations Committee for prioritizing the Alzheimer’s crisis.

The Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, which was enacted into law in December as part of the fiscal year 2015 funding bill, creates a formal process to ensure that scientific judgment will guide Congress in future Alzheimer’s research funding decisions.

Beginning in fiscal year 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will submit a Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer’s disease research each year until 2025 to achieve annual research milestones established under the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.

It will reflect the state of Alzheimer’s knowledge and the required investments in research identified by leading scientists to achieve the plan’s primary goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025.

Currently, Alzheimer’s disease, which is the only leading cause of death among the top 10 in the U.S. without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression, receives $586 million. Leading experts have stated that a ramp up to $2 billion a year is necessary to meet the primary goal of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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