Leaders in Women’s Healthcare Introducing the Next Decade of McDonald + Murrmann
Alzheimer’s Association Sees Increase in Federal Support
Patients, Researchers, Caregivers All Score Wins By CINDY SANDERS
In March, President Donald Trump signed a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law to fund the federal government. Part of the spending package included a $414 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Rachel Conant, senior director of Federal Affairs at the Alzheimer’s Association, leads the organization’s efforts to elevate Alzheimer’s disease as a priority for the federal government. She also serves as senior political director of the Alzheimer’s Impact Rachel Conant Movement (AIM), which is the national association’s advocacy arm. “The Alzheimer’s epidemic has a profound impact on families,” she said, adding her own family had been touched by the disease. “The Alzheimer’s epidemic has a profound implication for state and federal budgets,” Conant continued. “Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on Alzheimer’s or related dementias.”
Just days before the spending bill was signed, the Alzheimer’s Association released a new report outlining the toll of the disease. “The 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” found increases memphismedicalnews
in prevalence, deaths and cost of care. An estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women, 10 percent of those 65 and older have the disease, and the incidence rates are even higher in older African-Americans and Hispanics. Alzheimer’s cases are expected to spike alongside the nation’s aging population with an estimated 14 million living with the disease by 2050. Currently, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts by mid-century, someone will develop the disease every 33 seconds. Although deaths from other major diseases have decreased, recorded deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 123 percent between 2000 and 2015. The sixth leading cause of death, the new report stated Alzheimer’s is the only one among the top 10 causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or significantly slowed. In addition to the human toll, the financial cost is staggering. The 2018 Alzheimer’s Association report cited a $277 billion cost to the nation for Alzheimer’s and other dementias with a projection that those costs could rise to as much as $1.1 trillion by 2050. The current cost represents nearly a $20 billion increase over last year.
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Dr. Mary McDonald, Dr. Heather Donato, Dr. Susan Murrmann
Plan of Action
Conant noted that in 2011, landmark legislation laying the groundwork to create a national Alzheimer’s strategy was (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)
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