By Representative Rick Larsen
On a sunny morning in early October, I was honored to join more than 600 people who were taking time out of their Saturdays to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and to raise money for care and a cure. Many of these people shared their own experiences with this very serious disease as they walked along the waterfront at an Everett park.
Alzheimer’s affects more than 5 million Americans, with millions more loved ones sharing their burden. Researchers are beginning to make serious strides in researching brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and we cannot turn back now. That is why I strongly support efforts to improve research, care and treatment for people living with this terrible disease.
I am a strong supporter of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which invests in critical research about diseases like Alzheimer’s. I am pleased to report that the House of Representatives recently passed the 21st Century CURES Act, which would add $8 billion to the NIH budget, the first significant federal investment in the NIH in more than 12 years. The CURES Act would accelerate the discovery and development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s by modernizing health care innovation and providing more resources to support cutting-edge research.
I am also a cosponsor of the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, which would provide Medicare coverage for disease diagnosis and other vital services that improve the lives of Americans with Alzheimer’s. And I agree with President Obama’s proposal for a National Alzheimer’s Plan that would increase research for Alzheimer’s disease.
Pioneering medical research that will help family members, friends and neighbors who are struggling with Alzheimer’s should be a national priority. The sea of purple I looked out at during the Alzheimer’s walk is just one illustration of the progress we still need to make to improve the research, treatment and care for people with this disease. We cannot fight this disease as individuals. It takes a community. I am proud to be part of this community, and I promise I will continue the fight.