Wyden Urges Funding for Alzheimer’s Research

This country spends less than $600 million a year on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research.

Senator Ron Wyden has joined his colleagues, urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to beef up research funding for Alzheimer’s disease.

Currently the NIH spends about $585 million on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research, compared to $450 million in fiscal year 2011.

“This is a tremendous improvement, but remains far short of the levels leading experts have estimated will be needed to maximize our likelihood of achieving the 2025 goal,” according to the letter signed by Wyden.

In December 2010, Congress unanimously passed the bipartisan National Alzheimer’s Project, which set the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.

Today more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is projected to increase by 14 million by 2050.

The U.S. spends $226 billion a year on Alzheimer’s and other dementia, which includes $153 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.

“Surely we can more for Alzheimer’s given the tremendous human and economic costs of this devastating disease,” Wyden wrote. “We urge you to continue making Alzheimer’s disease research at the NIH a priority so that we can ramp up to the level necessary to achieve the 2025 goal set by the National Plan.”

Diane can be reached at [email protected].

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