Senator Collins Secures $350 Million Increase In Critical Funding To Help Fight Alzheimer's Disease

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            WASHINGTON, DC- The Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Senator Collins is a Member, has approved a $350 million increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—an increase for which she advocated—that would bring total funding to $936 million.  Senator Collins is also the Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging as well as the Co-Chair of the Congressional Alzheimer’s Task Force and has made Alzheimer’s research among her highest legislative priorities. 
            With Senator Collins’ strong support, the Appropriations Committee also approved a $2 billion increase in overall funding for the NIH, which will help support other important programs such as the BRAIN Initiative, which is aimed at helping researchers better understand neurological diseases and brain injuries that contribute to diseases such as Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and a host of other diseases and conditions.
            Senator Collins said, “Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that takes a tremendous personal and economic toll on both the individual and family, directly affecting 5.2 million Americans. As the now-third leading cause of death in the United States, the disease is also costing our nation $226 billion a year—with Medicare and Medicaid paying 68 percent of the costs. It is the nation’s costliest disease and the only in the top ten fatal diseases without a means of effective treatments, or a cure.” 
            Senator Collins further explained that as the baby boom generation ages, these costs will soar.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, if nothing is done to change the trajectory, the annual cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will increase from $226 billion in this year to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.
            “Alzheimer’s research must be a national priority. This additional funding is helping to advance our efforts to change the frightening trajectory of this terrible disease,” Senator Collins added. 
             A recently released report by the Alzheimer’s Association calls for a federal investment of $2 billion a year, as recommended by the federal Alzheimer’s Advisory Council, created by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, to meet the goal of preventing and effectively treating the disease by 2025.  Senator Collins was coauthor of this law. Also according to the report, if the federal government were to invest $2 billion to Alzheimer’s disease, it would recoup its investment within the first three years after a treatment became available.