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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 4, 2011

Hundreds of Alzheimer’s Researchers, Service Providers Call on Congress to Preserve Vital NIH Research Funding
Reducing the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Aging would be self-defeating, increasing government costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. USAgainstAlzheimer’s and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America , co-facilitators of Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD)—a coalition of Alzheimer’s-serving organizations dedicated to increasing America’s commitment to stop Alzheimer’s disease—issued the following statements today. The statements are being issued in light of a letter sent today to Congress, signed by more than 480 Alzheimer’s researchers and service providers, urging members to maintain Fiscal Year 2010 funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging through the current fiscal year.

George Vradenburg, Co-Founder and Chairman of USAgainstAlzheimer’s
“Chopping NIH funding would defeat our national objective of reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending through innovative drugs and treatments.  Preventing and curing what were at one time thought to be terminal diseases has been the largest single driver of American growth and prosperity in the 20 th century.  Preventing Alzheimer’s and other costly diseases will not only reduce healthcare costs but also make our workforce healthier, thus strengthening American competitiveness in the global marketplace. NIH and the vital basic research it supports is at the heart of that strategy.”

Eric J. Hall, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
“Finding solutions to chronic diseases among our nation’s aging population must be moved to the front burner, especially as disorders like Alzheimer’s disease reach crisis proportion. Cutting NIH funding will halt or delay promising research on approaches to diagnose, prevent and treat age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease that are bankrupting Medicare and Medicaid. Worse, it is a devastating blow to the millions of individuals and family caregivers who rely on NIH for the possibility of a healthier tomorrow.  As Congress negotiates 2011 funding, I urge members from both political parties to put themselves in the shoes of people struggling with chronic diseases.  It doesn’t just make good fiscal sense to support NIH; it makes good moral sense.” 

View the full LEAD coalition letter here: http://c3178112.r12.cf0.rackcdn.com/LEADSenateLetter.pdf

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USAgainstAlzheimer’s is a national advocacy campaign and advocacy network committed to stopping Alzheimer’s by 2020. An independent non-profit organization working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s community, USAgainstAlzheimer’s works to advance policies and elect candidates dedicated to stopping the disease by supporting research for a cure. For more information about USAgainstAlzheimer’s, visit http://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national non-profit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include a toll-free hot line, educational materials, a free quarterly magazine for caregivers and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484

Alzheimer's Foundation of America  866.232.8484
www.alzfdn.org