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Alzheimer's funding lags dramatically

 


There has been growing recognition of the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease but the funding to find a cure lags dramatically behind what’s necessary.

In 2010 Congress unanimously passed legislation that set a goal of finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s by 2025. But National Institutes of Health (NIH) research on dementia has not increased to the $2 billion-a-year level that scientists say is needed. In fact, for every $100 spent on Alzheimer’s research, Medicare and Medicaid programs spend $26,000 to care for people with the disease. Currently there are 100,000 Washingtonians living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number will grow to 140,000 by 2025. We must invest more to find a treatment and a cure now.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill giving $350 million more to the NIH for Alzheimer’s research, while the House Committee has voted $300 million. If even the lower figure is signed into law, that would be a 50-percent increase in research funding for this disease.

I urge Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, to vote for this vital Alzheimer’s research boost and push to make sure it is in the final appropriations bill enacted into law.

Mari Margil

Spokane

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