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NIH's priorities in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias: Let your voice be heard!

Samir Sauma
Samir SAUMA,
Director, OPAE,
Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation (OPAE)

Research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) is an important component of the NIA’s mission. In recent years, Congress has provided a significant amount of additional funding beyond our typical appropriation for us to accelerate research on the basic biology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care related to this devastating group of diseases.

With this additional funding comes the responsibility to plan and set priorities for the funds’ use. Each year, the NIA, working closely with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and other NIH Institutes, outlines a budget to match its priorities for the upcoming funding cycle.

Defining specific research priorities

Our priorities for AD/ADRD are spelled out in specific research implementation milestones. In addition to detailing how NIH plans to meet goals of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, the milestones are used to develop an annual Alzheimer’s Disease Bypass Budget reflecting the additional resources we think we need in a given fiscal year to meet those goals. These documents represent the NIH’s best professional judgment of the steps that need to be taken. They show our estimate of investment needed each year above the NIH allocation for AD/ADRD funding in the prior year.

(It’s called a "bypass budget" because—unlike most of the NIH budget—NIH submits it directly to the President and then to Congress, without modification through the traditional federal budget process. NIH also produces annual bypass budgets for cancer and HIV/AIDS.)

In developing the Alzheimer’s Bypass Budget, we gather feedback from a number of resources, including:

  • Detailed assessment of our scientific progress toward the goals and milestones laid out in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Deliberations from major meetings such as the 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Summit and the 2016 Summit on Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias. This input is reflected in the set of research implementation milestones that includes both short-term and long-term goals.
  • Input from stakeholders, including scientists, policymakers, advocates, patients and caregivers, and the public at large.

We need your feedback

This month, NIA is inviting your comments and suggestions regarding the content of the fiscal year 2019 Bypass Budget on Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias. We welcome your thoughts on a range of topics, including the current state of the science; notable research priorities moving forward; and potential conceptual or technical barriers to overcome.

Please submit your comments and suggestions to Comments are limited to 300 words or less. To ensure that we have sufficient time to review and consider everyone’s input, we need to hear from you no later than March 27, 2017.

We read and carefully consider every comment we receive. I look forward to hearing from you—and your colleagues!—as we plan our next steps in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. And do share this blog with others who you think may contribute comments from different perspectives.

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