HCN News & Notes

Congress Passes Bill Making Major Investments in Alzheimer’s Disease

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of a budget bill heading to President Biden for his signature, Congress passed major investments in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, specifically prioritizing equity and inclusion in the reporting language, which advocates say helps to foster a more equitable and just healthcare system.

Specifically, the bill includes a $100 million annual increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health; $4.5 billion for the National Institute on Aging (NIA); and $39.5 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure high-risk populations, particularly Black and Latino, have access to the latest information on Alzheimer’s, including how to strategies for risk reduction. The bill also calls out the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for its national coverage determination of monoclonal antibody treatments for Alzheimer’s.

“We are thrilled to witness Congress’s steadfast 12-year commitment to Alzheimer’s research, despite ongoing budget restraints,” said George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s chair and co-founder. “As the 2023 Alliance for Aging Poll makes clear, an astounding 50% of American voters report having a family member affected by Alzheimer’s, while 25% selflessly serve as caregivers for those battling dementia.”

In addition to funding, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s successfully secured language in the bill that promotes health equity and addresses the specific needs of those within underserved communities who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s worked to include language encouraging diversity in clinical trials and the establishment of a brain-health equity initiative to improve the integration of brain health into primary care, particularly within underrepresented communities.

The bill also encourages the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to collaborate with the NIA and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to develop new technologies that could discover the earliest biological events that lead to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.