The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is lauding the additional $425 million designated for Alzheimer’s disease research contained in the Sept. 26 passage of the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget for fiscal year 2019.
Its passage brings federal funding to fight the disease to $2.34 billion.
“AFA applauds Congress and the Administration for recognizing the importance of putting Alzheimer’s front and center, and doing so at an unprecedented level,” Charles J. Fuschillo Jr., AFA’s president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.
“AFA expresses much gratitude on behalf of all our nation’s families to members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committee who worked so hard to accomplish this significant development.”
The percentage of U.S. residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias is projected to double by 2060, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, about 5 million Americans are living with the disease. That 1.6 percent is expected to rise to 3.3 percent.
As baby boomers age, the incidence of Alzheimer’s is expected to increase the financial burden on the United States from $307 billion annually to $1.5 trillion, the AFA said.
The 2012 National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease set five goals to both prevent future cases of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and to better meet the needs of those now facing it. Those goals include preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s, optimizing the quality and efficiency of care, expanding patient and family support, enhancing public awareness and engagement, and tracking goal progress.
“This funding gets us on a viable path toward putting this goal within the realm of the possible,” Fuschillo said, referring to the plan. “Maintaining the status quo when it comes to Alzheimer’s is not an option.”
With more than 2,600 member organizations, the non-profit AFA works to provide optimal care and services to individuals living with dementia, and their families and caregivers. Through its Dementia Care Professionals of America division, AFA has trained more than 16,000 healthcare professionals.
The foundation also has a National Memory Screening Program that provides free and confidential memory screenings at sites across the country. The year-round service has screened more than 4 million people to date. Click here to find a site near you.