Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause of death among the top 10 in the United States without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over five million Americans are diagnosed with it, coupled with over 15 million unpaid caregivers. In New Jersey, the total figure of diagnosed individuals and their care partners is over 500,000. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition in America, costing the government and caregivers in excess of $225 billion. Currently, nearly one in five Medicare dollars is spent on a person with Alzheimer’s and, according to a new study, the cost of Alzheimer’s to the nation will increase fivefold by midcentury. Former Senator Bill Frist recently penned an opinion letter in Forbes in which he stated “Alzheimer’s disease has been notoriously challenging, but researchers are committed to tackling the problem with the right funding.”
I urge Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen to please support an additional $300 million for Alzheimer’s research in fiscal year 2016 to help save millions of lives and trillions of dollars. For more information, visit alz.org.