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Senate makes history with 60% increase to Alzheimer's research funding

The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved an historic 60% increase — approximately $350 million — for Alzheimer's disease research. If passed into law, this would be the largest increase in Alzheimer's funding to date. The bipartisan effort was led by Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Minority Member Patty Murray (D-WA).

"With this bipartisan call for a 60% increase in Alzheimer's disease funding, Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Subcommittee Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray are making history. More importantly, they are demonstrating to the millions of Americans affected by this devastating and fatal disease that they will not suffer indefinitely," said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association. "As we look forward to the announcement of the first Alzheimer's professional judgment budget next month, the momentum behind the fight to end Alzheimer's has never been greater."

The Alzheimer's Accountability Act, which was enacted into law in December as part of the fiscal year 2015 funding bill, creates a formal process to ensure that scientific judgment will guide Congress in future Alzheimer's research funding decisions. Beginning in fiscal year 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will submit a Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer's disease research each year until 2025 to achieve annual research milestones established under the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. It will reflect the state of Alzheimer's knowledge and the required investments in research identified by leading scientists to achieve the plan's primary goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's by 2025.

Currently, Alzheimer's disease, which is the only leading cause of death among the top 10 in the U.S. without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression, receives $586 million. Leading experts have stated that a ramp up to $2 billion a year is necessary to meet the primary goal of the National Alzheimer's Plan.

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit alz.org.

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