Alzheimer's disease research will get an extra $50 million from the National Institutes of Health this year. The increase in funding supports the Obama administration's goal to develop an effective treatment for the disease by 2025, reported CBS News.
This January, President Barack Obama signed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) into law. The act creates a framework for implementing a national strategic plan to combat the growing Alzheimer’s crisis, while coordinating disease-treating efforts across the federal government.
The government, which currently gives $450 million to dementia research, wants spending on Alzheimer's disease research to surpass half a billion dollars next year as part of its two-year plan.
The $50 million cash influx creates the opportunity for at least one stalled study of a possible therapy to start soon.
Obama is poised to ask Congress next week for $80 million in additional money for Alzheimer's research in 2013.
"The science of Alzheimer's disease has reached a very interesting juncture," with promising new findings to pursue after years of false starts, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated Press. "We would love to be able to come up with a way of bringing forward an even larger amount of support."
Advocates of increased funding for Alzheimer's research point to the disease's toll. As the sixth leading cause of death in the nation, 83,000 people lost their lives to it last year, and more than 5 million Americans already have Alzheimer's or releated dementias. That number is expected to double by 2050 without the help of a medical breakthrough, the Alzheimer's Association told the AP. At this point, medical and nursing bills are estimated to total $1 trillion annually.
Read about “Alzheimer’s Early Signs.”