Alzheimer's funding at NIH could top $1 billion

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Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

A $400 million increase in Alzheimer's funding proposed Monday by a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, if approved, would put federal funding for the disease to the National Institutes of Health at an all-time high of almost $1.4 billion, more than tripling funding for the disease since Congress passed the National Alzheimer's Project Act in 2010.

Although still short of the $2 billion annual goal that many experts say is needed to battle the disease and related dementias, the recommended bump would be “an important milestone in Alzheimer's research,” said Robert Egge, chief public policy officer of the Alzheimer's Association.

The bipartisan push for the increase was led by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the committee, according to the association.

“It's a tremendous act of leadership,” Egge told McKnight's Senior Living, adding that the funding would “get us to where the scientific opportunities are.”

The two senators also led the effort related to last year's historic $350 million rise in funding. The NIH currently receives $991 million for Alzheimer's and related dementias, according to the association's tally.

The subcommittee has scheduled a markup of its appropriations act for fiscal year 2017 on Tuesday, with the full Appropriations Committee scheduled to meet on Thursday.

Photo of Sen. Roy Blunt credit: Senate Appropriations Committee Flickr page.

Update: June 9, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 29-1 to move the funding bill to the full Senate.

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