Legislation introduced to continue national Alzheimer’s research

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 2:11 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Jerry Moran has helped to introduce legislation that would continue to fund Alzheimer’s research.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says he joined colleagues to introduce two new bills that would build on progress made to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.

Moran indicated that the disease costs the nation around $321 billion each year, which includes $206 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. He said nearly 12.7 million seniors are expected to develop Alzheimer’s by 2050.

If the nation continues on this path, the Senator said annual costs will almost pass $1 trillion. In 2021, he said family caregivers also provided 16 billion hours of unpaid care for loved ones with dementia. He said nearly half of all baby boomers will who reach the age of 85 will either get the disease or care for someone who has it.

In 2011, Moran said the Senate passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act to create a panel of experts to coordinate strategic national plans to prevent and effectively treat the disease by 2025. However, the law is set to soon expire and would cut funds to ongoing research projects. The move would allow the impact of these projects to be maximized.

“Our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and the development of new treatments have made significant progress since the National Alzheimer’s Project Act was first signed into law in 2011,” said Sen. Moran. “As our senior population expands, more research and treatment will be required to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important that we continue the work of NAPA and invest in further research of this horrible disease.”

Moran said that the new legislation would reauthorize NAPA through 2035 and modernize legislation to reflect strides made in understanding the disease like a new focus on the promotion of healthy aging and reducing risk factors.

The Senator noted that the new legislation would continue through 2025 and require the Director of the National Institutes of Health to submit an annual budget that estimates the funds necessary to implement research goals.

Moran indicated that only two other areas of biomedical research - cancer and HIV/AIDS - have been at the center of special budget developments aimed at speeding recovery.