In 2010 Congress unanimously passed legislation that set a goal of finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s by 2025.
But National Institutes of Health research on dementia has not increased to the $2 billion a year level that scientists say is needed. In fact, for every $100 spent on Alzheimer’s research, Medicare and Medicaid programs spend $26,000 to care for people with the disease.
Currently there over 100,000 Washingtonians living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number will grow to more than 140,000 by 2025. Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in our state.
We must invest more now to find a treatment and a cure. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill giving $350 million more to the NIH for Alzheimer’s research, while the House Committee has voted $300 million.
If even the lower figure is signed into law, that would be a 50 percent increase in research funding for this disease. I urge Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Rep. Denny Heck to vote for this vital increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research and make sure it is in the final appropriations bill enacted into law.
Patricia Le Roy