The appropriation bill signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Friday contains a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health. The increase brings total annual NIH funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research to $2.8 billion.
“These funds are laying the groundwork for much-needed breakthroughs that will help all those affected by this devastating disease,” Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association chief public policy officer and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement executive director, said in a statement.
The Alzheimer’s Association and AIM credited Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), as well as Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) as being instrumental in securing historic increases.
“We are thankful for our dedicated advocates who have passionately driven Congress to act and for our bipartisan congressional champions who understand the importance of medical and NIH-driven research,” Egge said.
The appropriations bill also includes $10 million to implement the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Passed overwhelmingly in December 2018, the law directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen the public health infrastructure across the country by implementing Alzheimer’s interventions focused on public health issues, such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. It establishes Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Public Health Centers of Excellence, providing funding to state, local and tribal public health departments and increasing data analysis and timely reporting.
The bill, one of two appropriations measures passed by Congress and signed by the president, authorizes appropriations to fund the operation of certain agencies in the federal government through Sept. 30, 2020.
Dementia is the most expensive disease in the country, according to the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM, costing taxpayers $290 billion in 2019 and affecting more than 5 million Americans with the disease as well as approximately 16 million unpaid caregivers of those with the disease.