In the NY Times an article titled, “Research Forgotten by Budget Cuts” discusses the long term effect these cuts could have on programs such as Alzheimer’s research. With a growing need to find a way to slow this disease and in the greatest hope to find a cure, these enforced cuts at the National Institutes of Health, research to find a cure or better treatment is slowing.
Alzheimer’s the most common form of dementia, is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Five million Americans are afflicted by the disease. It costs about $200 billion a year, creating severe strain for public health care and many families. And there is no counting the cost of the emotional cost to caregivers, but as the Alzheimer’s Association estimates, that caregivers had an extra $9 billion of health care costs last year. And I’m sure this doesn’t even take into consideration the cost of caregiver’s persona health care costs due to stress and it’s effects.
As reported in this article those in support of these cuts are not phased by the effects of the decreased funding as we are seeing the costs rise in Alzheimer’s care. As I wrote in a previous post about Alzheimer’s being the Costliest Killer the growing number of people getting Alzheimer’s is translating to higher costs because with no cure, the longer a person lives with Alzheimer’s the more costs go up for care.
Before the cuts went into effect, Alzheimer’s research was slated for a healthy increase this year. By moving a few discretionary funds, the N.I.H. has avoided cutbacks. Still, the funding falls significantly short of the promise.
Congress did act once to reverse the damage wrought by the automatic cuts: It undid some cuts affecting aviation. There was an emergency; members could not be inconvenienced by flight delays or cancellations when getting back to their districts. They do not seem as motivated to help prevent or slow the spread of a wrenching affliction that costs a fortune.
If Congress can’t seem to get it done, it’ll probably be left up to those of us already in the battle for more awareness and funding. What do you think? Do you feel as if there is something you can do or begin to do individually or with a group to help towards Alzheimer’s funding? Me, I think I’m going to go old school and start a lemonade stand.
Read the full article here: Research Forgotten by Budget Cuts.