March 10, 2005- Introduction of The "Ronald Reagan Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act of 2005"

WASHINGTON, DC -Today, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Rep.Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) members of the Alzheimer’s Congressional Task Force, introduced the “Ronald Reagan Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2005” in an effort to expand the federal government’s efforts to find new ways to prevent, treat, and care for patients with Alzheimer’s.

“The race to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is more urgent than ever -- nearly 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050,” said Markey. “This bill will fund crucial programs that help move us one step closer to discovering a way to cure this terrible illness.”

The bill will make Alzheimer’s research a national priority by doubling the funding for the National Institute on Health and directing these funds towards research, enhancing public awareness and education about the disease, and assisting caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. Furthermore, the bill also authorizes a significant increase in funding for the National Institute on Aging and cooperative clinical research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to improve the existing clinical trial infrastructure, develop new ways to design clinical trials, and make it easier for patients to enroll.

The Markey-Smith-Burgess not only addresses Alzheimer’s research and development, it also targets the caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients who often pay enormous physical, emotional, and financial sacrifices.

Markey concluded, “It is important that we do not forget the victims of this disease and the families that must cope with the every day difficulties of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. Congress must act now to strengthen the federal commitment to preventive Alzheimer’s and to finding a cure for this devastating disease and provide for caregivers.”

A similar bill was also introduced today by Sen. Bond and Mikulski in the Senate.

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2004

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Nicole Encarnacao