As we approach the end of this amazing and challenging year, Alzheimer’s Association advocates have been encouraging our legislators to advance increased funding and policy changes that will have a profound impact on those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Recently, Senate appropriators announced the inclusion of additional funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Credit goes to Sen. Roy Blunt, chair of the Senate Labor and HHS Subcommittee on Appropriations, for his continued leadership with the inclusion of a proposed Alzheimer’s and dementia federal research funding increase of $354 million for the Fiscal Year 2021. 

In addition to the research funding increase, the Senate included continued funding of $15 million to implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. The BOLD Infrastructure Act created Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence to expand and promote innovative and effective Alzheimer’s interventions. It also provides funding grants to state, local and tribal public health departments to implement these interventions. 

 If agreed to by the House and Senate and signed into law, the annual Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health would be over $3 billion.

As someone who has two loved ones (my mother and my uncle) living with this terrible disease, this news gives me hope that we can one day live in a world without Alzheimer’s. Recognizing, soberly, how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately taken large numbers of these precious seniors from us makes me redouble my effort to find ways to bring them relief and to find a cure, and this work will contribute greatly to this end. 

Our work is not done. I encourage everyone to continue to fight and advocate to ensure this funding increase becomes a reality by contacting your congressman and our senators.

— Mark Applegate, Bolivar 

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