Alzheimer’s is a growing public health crisis. In 2017, the United States spent $259 billion in direct costs caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, $175 billion of which came in direct costs to Medicare and Medicaid. And while Congress has more than tripled Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institute of Health in recent years, leading experts say a greater investment is still needed.

That is why I am joining the Alzheimer’s Association in asking Congress to approve an additional $425 million increase in the government’s fiscal 2019 budget.

As someone who supports those with dementia and their families, I understand the enormous burden dementia has on Alabama families and the economy. Today, there are over 90,000 Alabamians living with Alzheimer’s — the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.

Barring the development of medical breakthroughs, the number of Americans with the disease is set to triple over the next 35 years, and the cost of care will increase to $1.1 trillion in 2050. It is only through adequate funding that we will change this trajectory.

Please join me in asking Congressman Mike Rogers to support an additional $425 million in Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the NIH. Together we can end Alzheimer’s.

Lisa Holman

Alzheimer’s Association