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washington d.c.— US Senator Susan Collins, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, met with members of the Alzheimer’s Association of Maine at her office in Washington, DC. Deborah Carr of Falmouth and Thomas O’Connor of Portland both lost their spouses to Alzheimer’s disease.
Advocates thanked Senator Collins for championing investments in Alzheimer’s research through her role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. They also expressed their appreciation for a pair of bills Senator Collins recently introduced that would cement and build on the significant advances that have been made to effectively prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease:
- the PANA Reauthorization Act—written by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Bob Menendez (D -NJ) — would reauthorize the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) through 2035. Senator Collins authored NAPA in 2011, which created a coordinated strategic national plan to effectively prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 The law is due to expire soon and needs to be reauthorized to ensure that research investments remain coordinated and their impact is maximized. the PANA Reauthorization Act modernize legislation to reflect advances in understanding the disease, such as including a new focus on promoting healthy aging and reducing risk factors.
- the Alzheimer’s Disease Accountability and Investment Act– authored by Senators Collins, Markey, Capito, Warner, Moran and Menendez – would continue through 2035 the requirement that the Director of the National Institutes of Health submit an annual budget to Congress estimating the funding needed for the NIH to fully implement NAPA’s research objectives. Only two other areas of biomedical research – cancer and HIV/AIDS – received a special budget aimed at accelerating discoveries.
“We have made tremendous strides in recent years to increase funding for Alzheimer’s disease research, which holds great promise for ending this disease that has had a devastating effect on millions of Americans and their families. “, said Senator Collins. “The two bills I have introduced will keep our momentum going and ensure that we don’t take our foot off the pedal just as our investments in basic research begin to translate into potential new treatments.” We must not let Alzheimer’s disease define our children’s generation as ours.
“Through the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), we have made tremendous progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Passage of the NAPA Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act is the next important step in continuing the work of the National Alzheimer’s Plan and ensuring the country continues to prioritize Alzheimer’s disease. ‘Alzheimer’s and all other dementias’, said Robert Egge, director of public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association and executive director of AIM. “On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the sponsors for introducing this important bipartisan legislation to help improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease across the country. The Alzheimer’s Association looks forward to working with our tireless advocates and congressional champions to advance this bipartisan legislation.
“The passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act more than a decade ago marked a turning point in our nation’s fight against Alzheimer’s disease, fundamentally changing the trajectory of disease research for the better. said George Vradenburg, president and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “UsAgainstAlzheimer’s thanks Senator Collins for her leadership on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones. We look forward to working with her and other members of Congress to reauthorize NAPA and continue to move forward toward the end of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease costs our nation an incredible $321 billion a year, including $206 billion in Medicare and Medicaid costs. If we continue on this trajectory, Alzheimer’s disease is expected to take over the minds of 12.7 million seniors and exceed nearly $1 trillion in annual costs by 2050. In 2021, caregivers provided 16 billion hours of unpaid care for loved ones with dementia. Almost half of baby boomers who reach the age of 85 will either have Alzheimer’s disease or will be caring for someone who has it.