Washington, D.C., May 17, 2022 — The Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM), today honored Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Representatives Paul Tonko (D- N.Y.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) for their significant policy contributions to the fight against Alzheimer's and all other dementia. Sen. Blunt was given the Alzheimer's Association Lifetime Leadership Award and the Reps. Tonko and LaHood were awarded the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award at the National Alzheimer's Dinner during the Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) Advocacy Forum.
"Over the past decade we've seen significant growth in Alzheimer's and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) due to the leadership of Sen. Blunt," said Robert Egge, Alzheimer's Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director. "Sen. Blunt has been a dedicated champion of people living with Alzheimer's, their caregivers and the research community. We are forever grateful to Sen. Blunt for his steadfast commitment in the fight to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia."
Sen. Blunt, Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, has been an essential leader in the fight to end Alzheimer's and other dementia. During his tenure on the committee, Alzheimer's and dementia research at the NIH has grown substantially. These increases have enabled scientists across the country to explore new areas of research, advancing the understanding of the disease, exploring biomarkers, discovering potential ways to reduce risk, and working to move promising therapeutic candidates and diagnostic tools forward.
"Reps. Tonko and LaHood have been unrelenting in their efforts to advance legislation that has helped their constituents and Americans across the country," Egge said. "Their leadership has led to greater access to care and support for people affected by Alzheimer's, their caregivers and has led to advancements in research."
Reps. Tonko and LaHood are lead sponsors of the bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer's Act, a bill to create a more effective path to dementia care and address shortcomings in the way dementia care is delivered. Rep. Tonko is also a lead sponsor of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act, the NAPA Reauthorization Act, and the Alzheimer's Accountability and Investment Act. Both members were invaluable at securing passage of the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer's Act and are vocal supporters to ensure greater access to FDA-approved treatments for Alzheimer's disease.
According to the Alzheimer's Association 2022 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, more than 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's disease, and 11 million more are providing unpaid care. Alzheimer's will cost the nation $321 billion in 2022 alone. Without advancements in research 12.7 million Americans age 65 and older will be living with Alzheimer's disease and the cost to the nation could reach nearly $1 trillion by 2050.
The Alzheimer's Association and AIM continue to work with bipartisan congressional champions to advance public policies to improve the lives of everyone impacted by Alzheimer's. During the AIM Advocacy Forum more than 700 advocates from across the country met with members of Congress to raise awareness and grow support for critical legislation and research funding.