Work continues on tackling Alzheimer’s

Published 4:39 pm Monday, March 26, 2018

With a new year in full swing for the Alzheimer’s Association, some alarming facts were met with swift reaction from Congress.

According to information compiled from the organization, total payments to care for individuals living with the disease, or other types of dementia, are anticipated to go $270 billion — an increase of nearly $20 billion compared to last year. Another highlight from the report indicated that deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 123 percent while deaths from other “major causes” were on the decline.

The data highlighted in “2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” was accompanied by a secondary report indicating that early diagnosis of the disease “during the mild cognitive impairment state of the disease” could save the country nearly $8 trillion.

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“This year’s report illuminates the growing cost and impact of Alzheimer’s on the nation’s health care system, and also points to the growing financial, physical and emotional toll on families facing this disease,” said Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, in a press release issued to the Elizabethton Star. “Soaring prevalence, rising mortality rates and lack of an effective treatment all lead to enormous costs to society. Alzheimer’s is a burden that’s only going to get worse. We must continue to attack Alzheimer’s through a multidimensional approach that advances research while also improving support for people with the disease and their caregivers.”

To help counteract the issue, Congress approved a $414 million funding increase for research in the different brain-based disease for the 2018 fiscal year budget.

“THANK YOU to our advocates! Your voice truly makes a difference! BREAKING: Congress approves a historic $414 million funding increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at National Institutes of Health (NIH). We join Alzheimer’s Impact Movement in thanking them for making Alzheimer’s a priority!” Alzheimer’s Association of Northeast Tennessee recently stated on a social media post following the announcement.

Locally, the Northeast Chapter of the association — based out of Kingsport — offers communities a variety of ways to give back and raise awareness for the diseases by holding different events and fundraisers for research.

Individuals are invited to participate in the upcoming “Longest Day” celebration set for June 21.

Tabitha Ebbert, with the local chapter, recently told the Elizabethton Star the event serves as a way to highlight all aspects that comes with the disease.

“It’s the summer solstice but it’s also a day we use to highlight our caregivers and promote awareness for Alzheimer’s,” she said.

Registration is underway now for the event. To learn more, visit or the Alzheimer’s Association – Northeast Tennessee Facebook page. Details on the event and future projects can also be obtained by calling (800) 272-3900.