Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2009

Senate Urges Congress to Increase Funding for Alzheimer's Research

In 2006, nearly 73,000 Americans died of Alzheimer's disease and 411,000 citizens were diagnosed with the disease, and that number is expected to skyrocket as Baby Boomers get older. State Sen. Mary Easley wonders why, based on these numbers, the federal government is not spending more to research the disease. She authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 urging Congress to increase federal funding for Alzheimer's disease research.

"In 2006, there were around 56,300 Americans infected with HIV compared to the 411,000 new Alzheimer patients, yet the federal government spends around $2.9 billion a year on HIV/AIDS research and only about $650 million for Alzheimer's research. Something is wrong with this picture," said Easley.
"The government even spends more each year on West Nile Virus research - about $15,564 per patient compared to $124 per Alzheimer patient. This needs to change"

Experts predict that as the Baby Boom generation ages, the number of Alzheimer cases will increase to half a million by 2010 and almost a million by 2050.

"It's more important than ever that Congress increase federal funding for Alzheimer's research to a level that reflects the impact the disease has on our country," said Easley. "Finding a cure for this horrible disease will ensure that our elderly keep their mental capacity to their final days and that families no longer have to suffer financially or emotionally watching their loved ones spend their last years lost and confused."

SCR 2 will now be considered by the House.

For more information contact:
Sen. Easley's Office: 405-521-5590