Looking forward: NIH’s Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias FY 2024 bypass budget
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, which evolved from the National Alzheimer’s Project Act legislation enacted to help change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. As we reflect on how far we have come — made possible by robust and sustained investments from Congress — we know there is much work to be done for the more than 6 million Americans currently living with these devastating diseases, as well as for their families and care partners.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (PDF, 11M), which I unveiled July 25 at the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services, presents our most recent perspectives and plans to help advance research progress, which is a key goal of the National Plan. In developing this proposal — commonly referred to as a “bypass budget” — NIH staff reviewed the research implementation milestones and considered the additional resources needed to pursue new scientific opportunities in this area.
For FY 2024, NIH estimates $321 million will be needed in additional resources, with the overall funding needed for Alzheimer’s and related dementias research totaling $3.87 billion.
Previous NIH bypass budget proposals have been accompanied by a scientific progress report detailing important recent advances in the dementia research field. While NIH will still release a progress report this fall, the bypass budget narrative focuses instead on prospective research opportunities that NIH could support with additional funds in FY 2024. Examples of future research opportunities are organized across six broad scientific categories:
- Epidemiology/Population Studies: funding longitudinal studies designed to better understand how, for a given individual or group, different genetic, behavioral, social, cultural, and other environmental factors confer risk for and protection from these diseases.
- Disease Mechanisms: funding research that explores the underlying molecular and cellular processes, including but not limited to the functional role of the many genetic variations that have been recently linked to Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and other fundamental research to develop innovative therapies, such as immunotherapies, to treat these diseases.
- Diagnosis, Assessment, & Disease Monitoring: developing the next generation of biomarkers to enable detection and diagnosis even earlier than is now possible and to distinguish different forms of dementia from one another, as well as to leverage technologies that enable characterization of individual cells to advance dementia research.
- Translational Research & Clinical Interventions: funding the development of advanced tools and data resources to rapidly screen and identify novel therapeutics to pursue a precision medicine approach — delivering to people the right treatment in the right place at the right time — to effectively prevent and treat dementia.
- Dementia Care & Impact of Disease: funding research that addresses barriers to integrated care and advances knowledge on the economic impact of care and caregiving.
- Research Resources: developing and sharing cutting-edge resources, including preclinical tools to enable the biomedical research community to address scientific challenges and accelerate efforts to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
Commitment to health equity and inclusion
Scientific progress requires an intentional integration of health equity, inclusion, and workforce diversity across all components of the research enterprise. That is why the FY 2024 bypass budget emphasizes significant cross-cutting research efforts centered on these principles. In addition to supporting efforts to address health equity in dementia research, the proposal describes new initiatives that reaffirm NIH’s commitment to inclusion and equity in the scientific workforce.
Let us know what you think
In the past decade, NIH has made tremendous progress in Alzheimer’s and related dementias research. We look forward to building on this momentum by using new federal investments to capitalize on novel and emerging opportunities to advance the field. We invite you to review the bypass budget (PDF, 11M) and share your thoughts: Please leave your input and comments below!