As part of its end of year spending package, Congress approved passage of the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021, which is expected to be signed by the President, with an additional $300 million designated for Alzheimer's disease research at the National Institutes for Health (NIH)-- bringing federal funding to find an Alzheimer's cure to a total of $3.12 billion. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) issued the following statement from its President and CEO, Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.:
"During this holiday season, we are grateful that Congress and the White House are giving this important gift of hope to families affected by Alzheimer's disease. Washington has made Alzheimer's research funding a bipartisan priority over the last several years, and this historic appropriation builds on that progress. The federal government set a national goal of finding an Alzheimer's cure or disease modifying treatment by 2025. With only five short more years to go, we must continue funding research at historic levels if we are to make the breakthrough and achieve this national milestone."
"AFA also applauds Congress for the $20.5 million appropriation to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to continue creating a public health pathway towards treatment for millions by funding the establishment of centers for brain health and diagnosis.
"However, one area where this budget falls short is funding for the Administration of Community Living (ACL). Support services and caregiving training for families affected by Alzheimer's disease are essential for quality of life, especially as Alzheimer's affects more and more Americans and the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We urge our federal representatives to find ways to increase funding for these valuable services."
More than 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease today. As baby boomers age, the incidence is expected to nearly triple to 14 million by 2060, according to the CDC. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the US, and the only one in the top ten without a cure or disease-modifying treatment.