Administration focuses additional resources on Alzheimer’s disease research and services
On February 7, President Obama announced that his Administration would take steps to raise the priority of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) research and services. He announced that $50 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 and $80 million in FY 2013 would be spent on research. Another $26 million would be allocated to other agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services starting next year for caregiver support, education and public awareness. The additional resources serve as a down payment for the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, legislation that was signed in January 2011, to bring additional federal coordination, planning and resources to bear on the costly and growing problem of Alzheimer’s disease. See January’s Psychological Science Agenda for information about the drafting of the National Plan and APA’s participation in the process. Currently, the NIH spends $450 million annually on research on AD, which afflicts as many as 5.1 million Americans. The total number of Americans with Alzheimer's could more than double by 2050, according to the federal government.
The $50 million for AD research in FY 2012 is redirected, rather than new, money. Of the total, $25 million will come from ongoing research on whole genome/exome sequencing at the National Human Genome Research Institute. That research will be refocused on AD. The additional $25 million will also come from current NIH funds, but NIH Directors and Deputy Directors are still planning how to do this. The $80 million in additional AD research proposed in the Administration’s FY 2013 budget would come from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act to focus research on pressing public health needs.