Sebelius Vows More Alzheimer's Research
WASHINGTON -- Alzheimer's disease "has never attracted sufficient attention or resources" from the federal government, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Alzheimer's Association advocacy meeting here, Sebelius vowed to change that, reiterating the Obama administration's promise to find effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease by 2025.
She outlined the basics of the administration's plan to increase federally sponsored research on the disease, including new studies of its basic pathology.
Imaging and biomarker studies aimed at identifying patients early in the disease process also will receive additional support.
The plan stems from a bill passed by Congress in 2011, called the National Alzheimer's Project Act, which directed HHS to develop a detailed .
The plan calls for additional research on new treatments and preventive measures, improving quality and efficiency of care for Alzheimer's patients, increasing public awareness, and enhancing data collection.
In February, President Obama announced that $50 million would be added to the $450 million already allocated this year by the National Institutes of Health for Alzheimer's disease research, with $80 million in new funding proposed for fiscal 2013.
Too often, those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's retreat from life as they begin to decline, and caregivers often don't speak openly about their experience because they're embarrassed, she continued.
"When someone feels he or she has lost their dignity, when a family feels they have lost hope, they tend to shut off and stay inside.
The Alzheimer's Association estimates that there were 5.4 million Alzheimer's disease patients in the U.S.
The American College of Physicians has announced a to "help patients understand the benefits, harms, and costs" of a variety of tests and treatments.