NATIONAL PLAN TO ADDRESS ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: 2017 UPDATE. Goal 1: Prevent and Effectively Treat Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia by 2025

09/01/2017

Research continues to expand our understanding of the causes of, treatments for, and prevention of AD/ADRD. Goal 1 seeks to develop effective prevention and treatment modalities by 2025. Ongoing research and clinical inquiry can inform our ability to delay onset of AD/ADRD, minimize its symptoms, and delay its progression. Under this goal, HHS will prioritize and accelerate the pace of scientific research and ensure that as evidence-based solutions are identified and quickly translated, put into practice, and brought to scale so that individuals with AD/ADRD can benefit from increases in scientific knowledge. HHS will identify interim milestones and set ambitious deadlines for achieving these milestones in order to meet this goal.

In 2016/2017, Goal 1 showed substantial progress across a spectrum of research areas, thanks to the continued support from our national leadership and the American public, the dedication of study volunteers and their families and caregivers, and the valued work of clinicians and scientists.

Federal funding devoted to AD/ADRD research has expanded over the past several years, reflecting intensified national interest in finding ways to treat these devastating diseases. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) played a lead role by redirecting $50 million in funding in fiscal year (FY) 2012 and allocating $40 million in FY 2013 to promising avenues of AD/ADRD research. Federal appropriations increases to the NIH budget by $100 million in FY 2014 and $25 million in FY 2015, primarily directed toward AD/ADRD research, were also approved. However, the biggest increases in funding came in FY 2016 and FY 2017, following Congressional passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016 (P.L. 114-113) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-31). The FY 2016 appropriations directed an unprecedented additional $350 million toward AD/ADRD research, with an additional $400 million provided for this research in FY 2017; increasing overall NIH funding from Congress for AD/ADRD research by $912 million from FY 2012 to FY 2017. In FY 2017 alone, NIH estimates spending $1.4 billion on AD/ADRD research. This enormous infusion of resources enabled the launch and expansion of research programs and invigorated investigator-initiated research, further accelerating progress towards the Plan's ultimate research goal: finding effective interventions to treat or prevent AD/ADRD by 2025. [See https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr244/BILLS-115hr244enr.pdf.]

NIH was already poised to integrate the extraordinary new funds into its research portfolio. In July 2015, NIH released the first of what is now an annual professional judgment budget for Congress -- and the American people -- estimating the costs of accomplishing the research goals of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. This report is known as a "bypass budget" because of its direct transmission to the President and subsequently to Congress without modification through the normal federal budget process. The most recent estimate, submitted in July 2017, outlines funding needs for the most promising research approaches for FY 2019. [See https://www.nia.nih.gov/about/sustaining-momentum-nih-takes-aim-alzheimers-disease-related-dementias.]

The NIH will continue to prepare these estimates through FY 2025. Only two other areas of biomedical research have previously been the subject of this special budget approach: cancer and HIV/AIDS. [See https://aspe.hhs.gov/national-plans-address-alzheimers-disease#2014Plan.]

Planning for the annual bypass budget and NIH's current AD/ADRD research portfolio are informed by research implementation milestones based on recommendations for AD/ADRD developed at a series of the NIH-convened research summits (described below). [See https://aspe.hhs.gov/napa-research-milestones; https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/recommendations-nih-ad-research-summit-2015; and https://aspe.hhs.gov/alzheimers-disease-related-dementias-adrd-summit-2016-prioritized-research-milestones.]