National Alzheimer's Project Act Funding on the Horizon

National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) is the country’s first national Alzheimer’s plan.

The Obama administration is seeking to spend more than half a billion dollars on research funding next year, boosting current research spending by $50 million. Early Alzheimer’s detection and diagnosis and discovery of new therapies are two major areas of research.

In a press release, the White House announced that next week, President Barack Obama will ask Congress for $80 million in new money to spend for Alzheimer's research in 2013.

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) are said to affect roughly 5.6 million people and nearly 40% of the U.S. population aged 85 and older. It is the 6th leading cause of death and approximately 13.2 million older Americans are projected to have ADRD by 2050.

The administration said it will propose spending $26 million for other goals of the still-to-be-finalized plan, including much-needed caregiver support.

Taxing and relentless is how Anne Hodges describes caregiving for her mother who suffers with ADRD. “The hardest part for me is difficulty in communicating with her. I used to be able to see glimmers of my mother once in a while and that's when we would talk. Those times are now fewer and farther between.” It is estimated that 15 million family members and friends are affected by the disease.

President Obama signed NAPA into law last January, the goal of which is to “prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's by 2025.”

The draft framework is structured around five ambitious goals:
  • Prevent and Effectively Treat Alzheimer's Disease by 2025.
  • Optimize Care Quality and Efficiency.
  • Expand Patient and Family Support.
  • Enhance Public Awareness and Engagement.
  • Track Progress and Drive Improvement.

The current Draft Framework for the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease is available in full HTML Version  and full PDF Version  (12 PDF pages)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be collecting input for consideration in its final draft through February 8, 2012. Please send your comments to NAPA@hhs.gov. All comments will be shared with the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services. The final draft of the plan’s framework is due on the desk of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius later this month.

The Alzheimer’s Association is also urging everyone to sign a petition calling on President Obama to issue a strong National Alzheimer’s Plan and support his proposed funding in his upcoming Budget Request to Congress.

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