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NIA and the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease

Fighting Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is a priority at NIH and other Federal agencies, across the Nation, and throughout much of the world. In the United States, attention to Alzheimer’s disease took on heightened interest with passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA). Signed into law by President Obama in January 2011, the Act calls for an aggressive and coordinated national plan to accelerate research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and to provide better clinical care and services for people living with dementia and their families.

Efforts under the National Plan are guided by an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, consisting of some of the Nation’s foremost experts,  convened by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With the Advisory Council’s guidance and public input, the first National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease was created in 2012.

The Plan establishes five ambitious goals to both prevent future cases of Alzheimer's disease and to better meet the needs of the millions of American families currently facing this disease:

  • Prevent and Effectively Treat Alzheimer's Disease by 2025
  • Optimize Care Quality and Efficiency
  • Expand Supports for People with Alzheimer's Disease and Their Families
  • Enhance Public Awareness and Engagement
  • Track Progress and Drive Improvement

NIH leads the research effort on the first goal, targeted to preventing and treating the disease. Updated annually, the research component of the National Plan is a collaborative, evolving framework. It outlines the basic, translational, and clinical research needed to understand and conquer Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In support of the research goals of the National Plan, NIH embarked on an ambitious strategic planning process that engaged key stakeholders and resulted in the development of implementation milestones and success criteria.

View the Alzheimer's Disease and AD-Related Dementias Research Implementation Milestones database

NIH Research Summits

The National Institute on Aging (NIA), which oversees NIH research on Alzheimer’s, led the development of implementation research milestones in collaboration with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other NIH Institutes and Centers, as well as with extensive input from a variety of sources and perspectives outside of NIH. Central to this process was a series of research summits organized by NIH that brought together leading experts and innovators from academia, industry, and advocacy groups.

In Fall 2017, NIA will co-host the first Research Summit on Dementia Care. The goal of this research summit is to identify what we know and what we need to know in order to accelerate the development, evaluation, translation, implementation, and scaling up of comprehensive care, services, and supports for persons with dementia, families, and other caregivers. The summit is focused on research that is needed to improve quality of care and outcomes across care settings, including quality of life and the lived experience of persons with dementia and their caregivers.

Annual Bypass Budget Proposals

Starting in 2015, congressional legislation required that NIH prepare a professional judgment budget to estimate the additional funding needed each year to help reach the ultimate research goal of the National Plan—to effectively treat and prevent Alzheimer’s and related dementias by 2025.

NIH will submit this report to the President annually through FY 2025, for review and transmittal to Congress. Only two other areas of biomedical research—cancer and HIV/AIDS—have been the subject of such special NIH budget development aimed at speeding discovery. This approach is often referred to as a “bypass budget” because of its direct transmission to the President and then to Congress without modification through the traditional Federal budget process.

NIH welcomes this annual opportunity to develop a budget for expanding research on Alzheimer’s and related dementias—based on a carefully considered roadmap that moves us toward ending the tremendous physical, emotional, and financial devastation wrought by these fatal disorders.

View NIH Bypass Budget proposals for Alzheimer's and related dementias.