WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2018 — Today the president signed into law a $414 million increase for Alzheimer's and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Kevin and Avonte's Law, important legislation to protect those who wander. The Alzheimer's Association, the Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM), the Association's advocacy arm, and our nationwide network of dedicated advocates have worked tirelessly to grow support in Congress for these two priorities.
“On behalf of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's I want to thank Congress for their bipartisan work to make Alzheimer's research funding a priority,” said Alzheimer's Association and AIM President and CEO Harry Johns. “We have already seen that recent funding increases have accelerated research, and it is clear that a sustained investment in the future will be essential to continuing the momentum of research discoveries, leading to effective treatments and one day a cure.”
With this increase, Alzheimer's and dementia research funding at the federal government is $1.8 billion. According to the Alzheimer's Association 2018 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, released this week, an estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease and another 16 million are providing care. What's more, it is the most expensive disease in the country, costing an estimated $277 billion in 2018 including $186 billion in Medicare and Medicaid costs.
Understanding the devastating toll Alzheimer's takes on American families and the economy, increasing the government investment in research has become a bipartisan priority in Congress. Today's increase was secured by Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and by House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
In addition, the omnibus bill included Kevin and Avonte's Law, bipartisan legislation to protect seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia and children with developmental disabilities who are prone to wandering. Introduced by Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the Alzheimer's Association and AIM have been proud advocates for the bill's passage.
“Kevin and Avonte's Law will provide much needed support to communities throughout the country and will help law enforcement identify and reunite individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their families,” said Johns. “This bipartisan legislation will promote initiatives to reduce the risk of injury and death related to wandering and provide families with peace of mind.”
Kevin and Avonte's Law reauthorizes a Department of Justice program that helps local law enforcement officials quickly identify wandering individuals with Alzheimer's and reunite them with their families. Through Kevin and Avonte's Law, state and local law enforcement agencies, state health care agencies, and nonprofit organizations will have access to resources to establish and run programs to prevent wandering and to locate missing individuals.
As the world‘s largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer‘s research, the Alzheimer's Association is committed to advancing discoveries, complimenting the government's investments in the Alzheimer's and dementia field. The Alzheimer‘s Association has invested over $405 million in more than 2,600 scientific investigations. Currently, the Association is investing over $110 million in nearly 400 active best-of-field projects. Our research grant awards support investigators at every professional stage, often funding talented early career scientists with cutting-edge, potentially game-changing approaches, including categories specifically designed to address gaps in research efforts.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.
Alzheimer's Impact Movement
The Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) is the advocacy arm of the Alzheimer's Association. AIM works to develop and advance policies to overcome Alzheimer's disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.
Laura Cilmi, 202.638.8673, [email protected]