As Congress continues to address the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable impacted by COVID-19, they must also continue their work to address another devastating disease affecting millions of Americans — Alzheimer’s.
Today, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s — a number expected to nearly triple by 2050, including more than 120,000 in Tennessee. In 2020, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $305 billion. By 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion.
COVID-19 has put a focus on our first responders, whose jobs are often incredibly stressful. Emerging research suggests PTSD, including that experienced by first responders, may be associated with an increased risk of developing cognitive decline later in life. As this year’s chair of the Chattanooga Walk to End Alzheimer’s and a career law enforcement professional, I believe that we must continue funding research to address Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Thankfully, Congressman Fleischmann can play an important role in addressing this critical issue. By increasing funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health by $354 million and by supporting $20 million to implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, Congressman Fleischmann has the opportunity to provide millions of Americans like me with a sense of hope. This funding will provide researchers with the resources they need to make discoveries that can lead to a treatment or a cure.
Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in encouraging Congressman Fleischmann to lead in the fight to end Alzheimer’s by supporting critical funding. It is only through increased research funding that we will discover new ways to treat and eventually prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Chief (Retired) Tim Christol