WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The Obama administration officials said Tuesday in Washington it is immediately allocating an additional $50 million for cutting-edge Alzheimer's research.
In addition, the administration announced that its fiscal year 2013 budget will boost funding for Alzheimer's research by $80 million and an additional $26 million in caregiver support, provider education, public awareness and improvements in data infrastructure.
"Today's announcement reflects this administration's commitment to confronting Alzheimer's, a disease that takes a devastating toll on millions of Americans," Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. "We can't wait to act; reducing the burden of Alzheimer's disease on patients and their families is an urgent national priority."
About 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills. They are mostly cared for by 15 million unpaid caregivers. It's expected those with Alzheimer's disease could more than double by 2050, the Alzheimer's Association said.
"These projections are simply staggering," Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said. "This new funding will accelerate NIH's effort to use the power of science to develop new ways of helping people with Alzheimer's disease and those at risk."