The large government funding bill passed by Congress last week includes new funding for dementia and Alzheimer’s research.
According to a statement from the Alzheimer’s Association, an organization that funds Alzheimer’s and dementia research, the spending bill would increase the money sent to the National Institutes of Health for Alzheimer’s and dementia research by $289 million. It would also include $25 million to fund a law passed in 2018 meant to increase public health infrastructure around Alzheimer’s.
This funding is all part of the large omnibus spending bill meant to keep the U.S. federal government funded through the end of 2022. According to the Associated Press, the entire spending proposal is for about $1.5 trillion, and includes provisions for all parts of the government—from defense to foreign aid to food stamps.
“The additional $289 million in Alzheimer’s research funding will drive innovation and improvements in care, treatment and prevention for Alzheimer’s and all other dementia,” said Robert Egge, chief public policy officer at the Alzheimer’s Association, in the statement.
The money for dementia research is part of a larger increase in funding for the NIH. According to ScienceInsider, a news outlet for the journal “Science,” the Institutes’ budget is set to increase more than 5% to about $45 billion. Other health- and science-focused organizations within the federal government, such as the National Science Foundation, are set to have their funding levels boosted as well, although many will see lower upticks than proposed in President Joe Biden’s budget plan.
The extra $25 million noted by the Alzheimer’s Association is for the “funding and implementation” of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, a piece of legislation pushed for by the Association’s Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) arm. Passed by voice vote in the Senate and with only three “nays” in the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on New Year’s Eve 2018. The goal of the law, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, is to build infrastructure to treat Alzheimer’s as a public health issue—that is, to prevent and diagnose the condition and increase access to treatment.
The omnibus bill passed the House last Wednesday with about 60% of votes in the affirmative and passed the Senate last Thursday by slightly more than a two-to-one margin. The White House has indicated President Biden intends to sign the bill into law.