Hillary Clinton announced on Tuesday a $2 billion annual effort to cure Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. She called for doubling federal spending to combat the illness. Clinton’s plan would also build on care giving proposals she previously outlined, including tax relief to family members who care for ailing parents and grandparents, expanding access to family caregiver respite and supporting paid family leave for caregivers, among other things, her campaign added.
“We owe it to the millions of families who stay up at night worrying about their loved ones afflicted by this terrible disease and facing the hard reality of the long goodbye to make research investments that will prevent, effectively treat and make a cure possible by 2025,” Clinton said. “The best scientific minds tell us we have a real chance to make groundbreaking progress on curing this disease and relieving the pain so many families feel every day.”
Five million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a number that’s expected to increase to 15 million by 2050. The disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and disproportionally impacts minorities and women. Two out of three Alzheimer’s patents are women.
Alzheimer is a disease which affects women more than men. According to the CEO and president of the voluntary health organization Harry Johns, they believe that the Congress has listened to the call of hundreds of the need for a strategic investment that can be helpful in finally finding the right treatment or cure for the disease. The disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and disproportionally impacts minorities and women.
Thanks in part to significant federal funding, researchers are beginning to identify the genes and other biological factors that make some people more susceptible to the disease, along with promising methods of preventing and treating it. But it will take a dramatic new investment to accelerate the progress we’re making and one day conquer this disease once and for all. “My plan will set us on that course”, said Clinton as stated by CNN.
A researcher on the call, Rudolph Tanzi of Harvard Medical School, also detailed the recent progress in medical research that has improved the chances for finding treatment or even a cure. “Our single bottleneck has been funding,” he said, calling his area of research a “budget-constrained, not a knowledge-constrained field.” The $2 billion also could include research on related dementias and pathologies, Tanzi said.
Last year, the government spent $586 million on the disease. The 2016 budget signed by US President Barack Obama last week will increase federal funding to $936 million annually. Total costs may exceed $1 trillion by 2050, according to estimates.
There are now 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, with that number expected to grow to almost 15 million by 2050. Dozens of hands shot up as Clinton asked the room to show how many people had a connection to Alzheimer’s, a fixture of her campaign speech in states across the country. The proposal belongs to a larger effort by Clinton to boost health research funding.