Alzheimer's research is already substantially underfunded compared to other serious diseases affecting large populations. Last year Congress allocated several billion dollars each for heart disease and cancer, but only $450 million for Alzheimer's disease.
"Of the top 10 deadliest diseases in the U.S., only Alzheimer's disease has no treatment to slow or stop the disease beyond symptomatic treatments. There is currently no prevention, no remission, and no cure for Alzheimer's disease. That's all the more reason why more research is desperately needed," Eakin added.
Cuts to NIH funding, or even maintenance of funding at current inadequate levels, could prove expensive in the decades to come, given the rising costs of caring for increasing numbers of Alzheimer's patients. That price tag is an estimated $183 billion this year, and is projected to rise to a cumulative $10 trillion over the next 10 years and $20.4 trillion over the next four decades.
Guy Eakin discussed the top trends in Alzheimer's disease research in a new AHAF Question-and-Answer feature, The State of Research on Alzheimer's Disease.
For Some Scientists, It's Personal Now
"Unfortunately, more and more people are learning about Alzheimer's disease from experience, often because they know a loved one with the disease," said Eakin. Many relatives are determined to do something about the Alzheimer's crisisincluding those in the scientific community.
"My work took on a very personal nature when my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease," said Gary Landreth, Ph.D., of Case Western University in Cleveland, a recipient of AHAF research grants.
Marta Cortes-Canteli, Ph.D., an AHAF grantee at Rockefeller University in New York, explained, "I decided to study Alzheimer's disease because it is a heart-breaking disorder, not only for patients but also their families. I know this from personal experie
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AHAF-American Health Assistance Foundation