WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing dedicated to the economic impact of Alzheimer's disease in America. Chaired by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), the hearing also examined the current state of biomedical research into prevention and treatment of the disease. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins, former Congressman Dennis Moore (D-KS), who is living with Alzheimer's, and Alzheimer's Association celebrity Champion Seth Rogen testified about the importance of funding Alzheimer's research.
"The Alzheimer's Association commends Senators Harkin and Moran for their dedication to ending the Alzheimer's crisis, as well as Congressman Moore and Seth Rogen for sharing their experiences, which are all too familiar to millions of people across the country," said Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association. "With their help and thousands of Alzheimer's Association advocates, we are at the cusp of a much-needed turning point in the fight against Alzheimer's disease."
"Americans whisper the word Alzheimer's, because their government whispers the word Alzheimer's. And, although a whisper is better than the silence that the Alzheimer's community has been facing for decades, it is still not enough," said Rogen. "It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding it deserves and needs, if for no other reason, than to get some peace and quiet."
Last month, President Obama signed into law a FY14 funding bill that included $122 million in additional Alzheimer's funding, the largest-ever increase in federal funding for Alzheimer's research and care programs. These funds come on the heels of a meeting of researchers convened by the Alzheimer's Association to determine the resources required to meet the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025.
"We are not, at the moment, limited by ideas. We are not limited by scientific opportunities. We are not limited by talent," said Dr. Collins. "We are, unfortunately, limited by resources to be able to move this enterprise forward at the pace that it could take."
According to the Alzheimer's Association 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease today and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million, at a cost of $1.2 trillion to the nation, by 2050. Yet for every $27,000 Medicare and Medicaid spend on caring for individuals with Alzheimer's, the NIH spends only $100 on Alzheimer's research.
The Alzheimer's Association is committed to accelerating progress of new treatments, preventions and, ultimately, a cure. Through funded projects and partnerships, the Alzheimer's Association has been part of every major research advancement in the past 30 years while simultaneously working to enhance care and provide support for all those affected by Alzheimer's disease.
For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association at alz.org.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.
SOURCE Alzheimer's Association