If you or a loved one gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you join millions of others battling this uncurable disease.
Alzheimer’s Association research states that 6.5 million people currently have the disease. With the cost of care associated with disease in the millions, the president signed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act into law Jan. 4th, 2011.
1. What goals does NAPA hope to achieve?
Finding a cure for the disease remains the ultimate goal of this act. It also serves as a way to make strides in research and care for people diagnosed with the disease as well as minimize the financial burden. A public and private effort, key elements of the act included developing a national plan to overcome the disease, enhancing coordination efforts across agencies, and increasing earlier diagnoses.
2. What funding does the project have?
The project recommended $2 billion a year to help the project succeed. Once signed, the National Institutes of Health provided an extra $50 million, and the NIH director awarded $40 million from the Director’s Fund. In 2015, Congress helped create a bypass budget for the disease. Another bill passed in 2017 to provide $1.4 billion.
3. What will happen when the act ends in 2025?
Unfortunately, achieving the main goal has yet to happen. A bipartisan group of senators has pushed for a NAPA Reauthorization Act, extending the act to 2035. This new act accounts for positive changes in the effort and adds a new focus on reducing potential risk factors and developing ways to promote healthy aging.
The fact that the Alzheimer’s Association projects that 12.7 million people will have the disease by 2050 makes renewing this act important.