In Georgia, the number of Alzheimer’s diagnoses will grow by over 30 percent from 2017 to 2025. The number of patients in the state will triple by the year 2050. The current burden to Alzheimer’s families in Georgia, excluding any government funds, is over $7.5 billion a year.
For every $160 we spend on care, we spend $1 on research. From the National Institutes of Health’s own numbers, every research dollar will reduce the Medicare/Medicaid burden by over $750 through 2050 if we can find a way to simply delay the onset of the disease by five years.
Georgia congressmen Rick Allen and Jody Hice both continue to support the fight against Alzheimer’s by joining the Congressional Bipartisan Alzheimer’s Task Force, supporting the HOPE Act (HR-1559), and supporting increased research funding in the House budget. Both congressmen understand the long game: If we are not successful in finding a cure, the economic burden will be unsustainable.
The Alzheimer’s Association wishes to thank Congressman Allen for spending a couple hours face-to-face with caregivers in our Evans training center. Knowing that Congressman Allen understands the difficulties caregivers are facing every day means mountains to many families.
The House has included a $400 million increase in research funding into the next budget – the next step toward the $2 billion the NIH decreed necessary. One the Senate has arrived at a figure, the two houses will get together to reconcile numbers for a final budget.
What is being done with all the research money? There are 38 clinical research projects currently seeking participants in Georgia; 22 in South Carolina. Emory University has 33 separate research projects underway.
Please continue to pressure and thank our congressmen for the research funds. We are desperately searching for the first survivor, and it could be you.
The writer is the Alzheimer’s Association ambassador to Georgia’s 12th Congressional District and a member of the Alzheimer’s State Board of Governors.