Adequate funding and more research needed for Alzheimer’s disease research

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

To the editor:
Earlier this spring I was honored to participate in the 29th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. Joined by more than 1,300 people with the disease, caregivers and fellow advocates from across the nation, we appealed to our members of Congress for action on Alzheimer’s disease.
Today, there are 15.5 million Americans caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, including 110,000 right here in Tennessee.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and 15.5 million Alzheimer’s caregivers. As an Alzheimer’s Ambassador, it is my honor to represent them to our elected officials.
In addition to the human toll, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition in the nation, costing $259 billion a year. In 2016, caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of care valued at over $230 billion.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 without a way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression.
Our two main priorities discussed at the Forum were for an increase FY 18 budget of 414 million and for support of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA). It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.
Thank you to Representative Phil Roe for signing on as a Cosponsor to PCHETA.

Laura Bell
Alzheimer’s Association Summer Intern

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