Congress is pushing forward with a significant budget increase that has the potential to positively impact Alzheimer’s research. If approved by the White House, Alzheimer’s research will receive a 50-percent increase in funding, raising it to $350-million, in fiscal year 2016.
The Alzheimer’s Association and other esteemed advocates have pushed for this type of an increase for some time now, noting the impact that Alzheimer’s is having on seniors, their family members, and Alzheimer’s caregivers. While we have seen some advancement in treating this disease, to date, we have no cure. Scientists and researchers do believe a cure is forthcoming, but they state our country will need funding to the tune of approximately $2 billion per year in order to make this cure a reality.
While this budget increase may seem extreme to some, it has the potential to save our country money since the treatment of and care for individuals with this disease is extremely expensive, estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2050. This cost is absorbed by programs including Medicare and the Veteran’s Administration as well as by privately funded insurance, families, and seniors.
Considering that the Alzheimer’s Association further states that this disease is “the only cause of death among our top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed”, the need for increased funding is imminent. More than 5 million people currently live with Alzheimer’s, and caregivers, seniors, and their families who face future diagnoses depend on scientists who are working diligently to find a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s.
While we cannot currently cure Alzheimer’s, this push by Congress for increased funding is a step in the right direction and may lead the way toward ultimately finding a solution to this debilitating disease.
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