NIH to get more Alzheimer's funding

Greg M. Cooper/AP

The Obama administration wants to add $80 million in spending on Alzheimer’s research next year, bringing the total to $530 million a year in the hopes of heading off what doctors say will be an avalanche of dementia in the coming decades.

President Obama will request $80 million in new research funding in his budget for fiscal 2013, and the National Institutes of Health will immediately direct an additional $50 million to Alzheimer’s research this year, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"We can’t wait to confront the growing threat that Alzheimer’s disease poses to American families, and to our nation as a whole,” Sebelius said at a news conference.

Overall, the administration wants $156 million over the next two years to combat Alzheimer’s, Sebelius said. The president's budget will also ask for $26 million in funding to support caregivers, to raise awareness, and to improve outreach.

Experts estimate that more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's now and project that figure could more than double by 2050, as the baby-boom generation and those just behind the boomers get older.

“These projections are simply staggering,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement. “This new funding will accelerate NIH’s effort to use the power of science to devlop new ways of helping people with Alzheimer’s disease and those at risk.” HHS said that the money will go to basic research in an effort to find the causes of Alzheimer's in cells, as well as to clinical work on patients.

“The opportunities right now are compelling,” Collins said. The $50 million in new funding will be taken from dollars already appropriated for existing projects, Collins said. For example, some money designated for genome sequencing will be directed toward studying the genetic links between Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility and onset.

Alzheimer's has no cure, and treatments only help during the disease's very early stages.

Alzheimer's advocates praised the new funding but said that the disease still doesn't get the attention it deserves.

"Even with this 10 percent annual increase in the NIH budget for AD research, this disease remains by far the most underfunded when compared to its public-health impact," R. Scott Turner, director of the Georgetown University Medical Center's Memory Disorders program, said in a statement.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.