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Biological Chemistry

NIH Sets Ambitious Budget Goals For Dementia Research

by Andrea Widener
August 3, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 31

For the first time, the National Institutes of Health has created an aspirational budget that outlines what it would take to support a full research push into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia disorders. This so-called bypass budget—also known as a professional judgment budget—asks for $323 million above what the government is already funding each year on Alzheimer’s disease research. NIH spent $562 million in fiscal 2014. The fiscal 2017 proposal, which was requested by Congress, “outlines the optimal approach NIH would take in an ideal world unconstrained by fiscal limitations to make real and lasting progress against this devastating group of disorders,” says NIH Director Francis S. Collins. Much of this additional money would go toward development of clinical interventions and transforming basic science discoveries into treatments for patients. NIH would also use the extra funds to better understand the underlying molecular pathology of dementia. While bypass budgets overall are rare, the National Cancer Institute produces a bypass budget every year. It has never been funded at its requested level.


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