Skip Navigation
  • Text Size: A A A
  • Print
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Share

Fact Sheet: We Can’t Wait: Taking Action on Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease afflicts more than five million Americans and that number is likely to double in the coming years. At the same time, millions of American families struggle with the physical, emotional and financial costs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

In January 2011, President Obama signed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which calls for an aggressive and coordinated national Alzheimer’s disease plan.  The Act also establishes an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, which brings together some of the Nation’s foremost experts on Alzheimer’s disease to inform the development of the national plan. As work on the plan continues, the Obama Administration is taking action.

Today, the Obama Administration is announcing a historic $156 million investment to tackle Alzheimer’s disease. This investment will:

Immediately Increase Alzheimer’s Disease Research Funding:  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will immediately dedicate an additional $50 million from its fiscal year 2012 funding to Alzheimer’s research.  NIH investments will include research to identify genes that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and testing therapies in individuals at the highest risk for the disease. 

Sustain and Grow the Alzheimer’s Research Investment:  The President’s fiscal year 2013 budget will include $80 million in new Alzheimer’s research funding.  Together, the fiscal years 2012 and 2013 investments total $130 million in new Alzheimer’s research funding over two years – over 25 percent more than the current annual Alzheimer’s research investment.  

Support the Goals of the Preliminary National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan:   This initiative also includes $26 million to support additional goals in the preliminary National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan. While the plan continues to be developed, experts have identified several high-priority goals that will be supported by today’s announcement, including:

  • Education and outreach to improve the public’s understanding of Alzheimer’s disease starting this year;
  • Outreach to enhance health care providers’ knowledge of the disease;
  • Expanded support for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers in the community;
  • Improved data collection and analysis to better understand Alzheimer’s disease’s impact on people with the disease, families and the health care system.

The preliminary National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan identifies other key goals including preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025; expanding patient and family support; optimizing care quality and efficiency; enhancing public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease; and tracking progress to drive improvement.  The National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan will be finalized in the Spring with further input from the public and the Advisory Council and will continue to inform action on Alzheimer’s disease.