Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding in fiscal year 2019 at the National Institutes of Health would see a $425 million increase to a total of $2.3 billion under a bill passed Thursday by the Senate.

The Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, if signed into law, would mark the fourth consecutive year of increases in Alzheimer’s research funding at the NIH, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America and, without a breakthrough, by 2050 we’ll spend $1.1 trillion treating people with Alzheimer’s each year — twice as much as the annual defense budget,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS. “This bill not only meets, but surpasses the $2 billion research goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.”

The Labor-HHS bill was part of a larger, $854 billion “minibus” bill that also included military spending and passed 85-7. The Senate and House of Representatives will finalize the FY19 budget over the coming months.

The Labor-HHS bill passed Thursday includes a total of $39.1 billion in funding for the NIH, a 5% or $2 billion increase over the previous fiscal year. Additionally, it includes:

  • $562 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority;
  • $3.7 billion for programs to address opioid abuse;
  • $445 million for charter schools;
  • $15.9 billion for Title I Grants to local education agencies;
  • $1.2 billion for Title IV-A Student Supports and Academic Enrichment Grants; and
  • $160 million for apprenticeship grants.

FY 2019 begins Oct. 1.