President Obama includes Alzheimer's in State of the Union
In his first State of the Union address of his second term, President Barack Obama spoke of the need for "investments in science and innovation," with a specific reference to Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Association applauds the president for underscoring the critical need for medical research and demonstrating that addressing Alzheimer's disease is a national priority.
If we hope to change the trajectory of this growing epidemic, providing Alzheimer's scientists with the resources they require must happen now to address one of the most significant cost drivers of Medicare and Medicaid. The average per-person Medicare costs for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias are three times higher than for those without these conditions. More than 5 million Americans are living with this progressive and fatal disease today. That number is expected to triple as baby boomers age.
The president and the Alzheimer's Association agree that innovative research is essential to "unlock the answers to Alzheimer's." As the largest non-profit funder, the Alzheimer's Association funds projects like the first-ever whole genome sequencing of participants in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a public-private research project led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and funded with private sector support.
Just three weeks ago, the Alzheimer's Advisory Council unanimously endorsed recommendations to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as well as Congress, which include benchmarks to achieve the National Alzheimer's Plan goal of preventing and effectively treating this fatal disease by 2025.
"The Alzheimer's Association applauds the president's acknowledgment of the need for Alzheimer's research in the State of the Union, and calls on the president and Congress to take action in the coming days to fully support the implementation of the National Alzheimer's Plan that was a result of bipartisan leadership," said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association. "The personal tragedy of this disease, along with the economic cost, demonstrates that there is no time to wait and smart commitment to Alzheimer's research must be made now."
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer 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.