As it happened a week before Christmas, many of us may have missed the news regarding the historic funding bill signed into law by the President which provides a $350 million increase to Alzheimer’s disease research. Not only is this a 60% increase from the 2015 budget but is the greatest increase in federal spending to-date.
Finding a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s is now more important than ever. The Alzheimer’s Association cites projections from an independent research firm that states, “Medicare spending on people with Alzheimer’s disease will more than quadruple in just over a generation to $589 billion annually in 2050.” Furthermore, by delaying the onset of the disease by 5 years, “it would save Medicare $345 billion in the first 10 years alone”
Add to that the fact that Alzheimer’s is the only top ten cause of death that is not preventable, curable or the progression slowed. Also with more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and numbers only expected to grow as our population ages, it is not a small problem.
While there are currently several drugs used to treat the disease, none of them treat the underlying cause of the disease. However with this new funding from the federal government, we can only hope that scientists will be able to discover new treatments to advance the fight. Bill Thies, PH.D., Senior Scientist in Residence for the Alzheimer’s Association states that, “Investing in research now will cost our nation far less than the cost of care for the rising number of Americans who will be affected by Alzheimer’s in coming decades.”
*This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health. *
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