Feature

Federal budget grants $1.8 billion to Alzheimer’s and dementia research


 

Congress has appropriated an additional $414 million for research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – the full increase requested by the National Institutes of Health for fiscal year 2018. The boost brings the total AD funding available this year to $1.8 billion.

Bolstered by the mandate of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, to prevent or treat AD by 2025, the NIH is aiming higher still. Its draft FY2019 AD appropriation asks for another $597 million; if passed, nearly $2.4 billion could be available for AD research as soon as next October.

Distribution of additional research funding for fiscal year 2019
The increases are valuable stepping stones toward managing this now-unmanageable disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, which worked with the NIH on the budget proposal.

“For the third consecutive fiscal year, Congress has approved the Alzheimer’s Association’s appeal for a historic funding increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the NIH,” Alzheimer’s Association president Harry Johns said in a press statement. “This decision demonstrates that Congress is deeply committed to providing the Alzheimer’s and dementia science community with the resources needed to move research forward.”

Several members of Congress championed the AD funding request, including Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

The forward momentum is on pace to continue into FY2019, according to Robert Egge, chief public policy officer and executive vice president of governmental affairs for the association. The NIH Bypass Budget, an estimate of how much additional funding is necessary to reach the 2025 goal, contains an additional $597 million appropriation for AD and other dementias.

“This is what we need to fund scientific projects that are meritorious and ready to go,” Mr. Egge said in an interview. “Congress has the assurance that this request is scientifically driven and that NIH is already thinking about how the money will be used.”

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