Letter: Urge more funding to help fight Alzheimer’s, dementia

From: Angel Phillips


As a volunteer advocate with the Alzheimer’s Association, I understand the challenges of the 11 million dementia caregivers in America. My loved one started showing signs of dementia around 2009 and continued a rapid decline with Alzheimer’s until he passed in 2015. When he was first diagnosed, the medical term was familiar. However, I was not prepared or educated on the disease or journey for help and answers we would face in the six years that followed. It still amazes me the lack of treatment options or care guidance we were able to find that gave any hope to his unknown future.

This is the very reason we must work toward increased funding for research that would impact the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

I am asking Rep. Greg Pence to support the $226 million in Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding. Currently the National Institute of Health (NIH) is investing more than $3.5 billion annually in Alzheimer’s and dementia research, which is more than an eight-fold increase over the past 10 years. In 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementia care cost the nation $321 billion, and by 2050 these costs could rise to more than $952 billion. Barring the increased funding in research to inform development of medical breakthroughs that may prevent, slow, or even cure this disease, the number of 65-and-older Americans diagnosed may grow to a projected 12.7 million by 2050.

Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in encouraging Rep. Pence to support the additional research funding so we can offer hope to the millions of American families affected by this disease. If you do not personally know someone whose life has been affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia, chances are you will in the future. I am grateful for all ongoing efforts to help end this dreadful disease. To learn more about Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, please visit alz.org.