Obama Announces Plan to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease, Hopes to Prevent by 2025

The Obama Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services announced new funding to help the nation fight Alzheimer’s disease on Tuesday. 

The move is meant to improve the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and find a method to prevent it by 2025. To make this a reality, the President’s proposed FY 2013 budget provides a $100 million increase for efforts to combat the disease. These funds will support additional research ($80 million), improve public awareness of the disease ($4.2 million), support provider education programs ($4.0 million), invest in caregiver support ($10.5 million), and improve data collection ($1.3 million).

“These actions are the cornerstones of an historic effort to fight Alzheimer’s disease,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of HHS. “This is a national plan—not a federal one, because reducing the burden of Alzheimer’s will require the active engagement of both the public and private sectors.” 

Sebelius also announced the funding of two major clinical trials that were jumpstarted by the National Institutes of Health’s infusion of addition FY 2012 funds directed at Alzheimer’s disease.

The funds will go towards the development of new high quality training and information for clinicians and a public education campaign and website to help families and caregivers find the services and support they need. 

Below is a summary of the initiatives announced:
  • Research – The funding of new research projects by the NIH will focus on key areas in which emerging technologies and new approaches in clinical testing now allow for a more comprehensive assessment of the disease. This research holds considerable promise for developing new and targeted approaches to prevention and treatment. Specifically, two major clinical trials are being funded. One is a $7.9 million effort to test an insulin nasal spray for treating Alzheimer’s disease. A second study, toward which NIH is contributing $16 million, is the first prevention trial in people at the highest risk for the disease.
  • Tools for Clinicians – The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded $2 million in funding through its geriatric education centers to provide high-quality training for doctors, nurses, and other health care providers on recognizing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and how to manage the disease.
  • Easier access to information to support caregivers–HHS’ new website, www.alzheimers.gov, offers resources and support to those facing Alzheimer’s disease and their friends and family. The site is a gateway to reliable, comprehensive information from federal, state, and private organizations on a range of topics. Visitors to the site will find plain language information and tools to identify local resources that can help with the challenges of daily living, emotional needs, and financial issues related to dementia. Video interviews with real family caregivers explain why information is key to successful caregiving, in their own words.
  • Awareness campaign – The first new television advertisement encouraging caregivers to seek information at the new website was debuted. This media campaign will be launched this summer, reaching family members and patients in need of information on Alzheimer’s disease.
View a copy of the plan here

 Written by John Yedinak

 

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