At a cost of $236 billion a year, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation. Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. And total costs will only continue to increase as baby boomers age, soaring to more than $1 trillion by 2050.
Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed down. Today, more than 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may reach as high as 16 million.
When my mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 57 nearly six years ago, research funding for Alzheimer’s disease was disproportionately low compared to the other top causes of death. In the past few years, we have made tremendous strides, inching closer to the funding level that scientists say they need to find a breakthrough. Why turn back now? Families and caregivers are counting on it.
Concerned readers should contact our new Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal, today at 202-225-3106. Ask her to vote for an additional $400 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding to continue the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Action is needed as temporary funding runs out on April 28.
Jayapal needs to see constituents alarmed that Alzheimer’s disease is a growing crisis for our families and the economy. She should help lead the federal government in addressing the challenges the disease poses and take bold action to confront this crisis now.
Congress must not wait to help those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
— Mikaela Louie
Board Member, Alzheimer’s Association – Washington State Chapter
UW Law Student