The president recently made the important decision to sign into law a $350 million increase in Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding and $10 million to implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. For me, this signifies hope for the more than 400,000 New Yorkers living with the disease and their caregivers.
I want to celebrate this important accomplishment by acknowledging the passion and dedication of our bipartisan Congressional champions, including Rep. Antonio Delgado. This touches home for me as my husband passed away from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Since then I have been a fierce advocate for research funding and have reached out to Rep. Delgado’s office on numerous occasions. I can confidently say he understands the importance of research to help all those affected by this devastating disease. A steady funding commitment for medical research enables the discovery of new findings and will lead to desperately needed interventions for people at all stages of the disease.
Annual Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health now totals $2.8 billion. This is a more than six-fold increase in the last decade. This remarkable growth in funding is an important step toward acknowledging and addressing Alzheimer’s as a widespread public health crisis.
Brain research is difficult and expensive, yet Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country, costing taxpayers $290 billion in 2019, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. As a country, we cannot afford to take a backseat on research and through this important funding, I am more hopeful today than ever before that we are on the path to finding a cure.
Carol Kiehn Kirkey
Kirkey is an Alzheimer’s Association advocate.
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