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Three Reasons to Care About the National Alzheimer's Project

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Three years ago this month, President Obama signed into law the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA). This important legislation lays out our nation’s plan to combat this devastating disease through prevention and treatment, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. In the time since NAPA’s passage, the plan has gained continued support from Congress - yet much work remains to in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

To mark the third anniversary of NAPA, check out 3 reasons Congress should make Alzheimer’s disease a top priority in 2014 and beyond:

1. The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s continues to increase. Alzheimer’s affects 5 million people in the United States, including 1 in every 8 Americans age 65 and older. In the next 20 years, every U.S. state will see an increase in the number of residents impacted by this disease, bringing innumerable medical, economic, and social repercussions.

2. Alzheimer’s has a global impact. According to the WHO, dementia currently impacts 35.6 million people worldwide and will increase to over 115 million people by 2050. Partnering with other countries who also lead the charge in finding treatments can give all of us a better chance at finding a cure.

3. The economic costs of Alzheimer’s disease will skyrocket in coming decades. The global cost of dementia surpasses $600 billion every year, equivalent to 1% of the worldwide GDP. By 2050, costs in the United States alone could total as much as $1 trillion!

These striking facts on the impact of Alzheimer’s demonstrate the critical need for continued research on this disease. Our government must continue funding programs that bring public and private groups together, spurring research that can lead to breakthrough medicines that will cure Alzheimer’s for good.

Beating Alzheimer’s requires everyone’s help. At Lilly, we remain committed to working with other public and private groups to promote increased Alzheimer’s research, giving every family a better chance at overcoming this disease. We urge our President and members of Congress to share this commitment so that together, we can beat Alzheimer’s in our lifetime.