Letter: Support Alzheimer’s research | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Support Alzheimer’s research

As someone who works with families struggling with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, I understand the enormous burden dementia has on Colorado families and our state's economy. Today, there are 69,000 Coloradans living with Alzheimer's — the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.

Alzheimer's is a growing public health crisis. In 2017, the U.S. spent $259 billion in direct costs caring for individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementias, $175 billion of which came in direct costs to Medicare and Medicaid. While Congress has provided additional funding for Alzheimer's and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in recent years, leading experts say a greater investment is still needed.

That is why I am joining the Alzheimer's Association in asking Congress to approve an additional $425 million increase in the government's Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

Barring medical breakthroughs, the number of Americans with the disease is set to triple over the next 35 years, and the cost of care will increase to $1.1 trillion in 2050. It is only through adequate funding of medical research that we will change this trajectory.

Please join me in asking U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Congressman Scott Tipton to support an additional $425 million in Alzheimer's and dementia research funding at the NIH. Together we can end Alzheimer's.

We have made it easy for you to lend your voice to the cause. Please visit the "Advocate" section of our website, http://www.alz.org/co or call the Regional Office at 970-256-1274 today!

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Teresa Black

Grand Junction

Regional Director, Alzheimer's Association Colorado Chapter