NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday announced a slate of proposals to battle Alzheimer’s disease and seek a cure by 2025, including an increase in funding for research on the disease and related disorders.
Clinton called for a decade-long investment of $2 billion per year for research, which her campaign called a fourfold increase over last year’s $586 million.
Clinton’s campaign scheduled a conference call with reporters on Tuesday to discuss details of the proposal. Clinton, the front-runner for her party’s nomination for the November 2016 presidential election, will discuss it later in the day in an appearance in Fairfield, Iowa.
“We owe it to the millions of families who stay up at night worrying about their loved ones afflicted by this terrible disease and facing the hard reality of the long goodbye to make research investments that will prevent, effectively treat and make a cure possible by 2025,” Clinton said in a statement.
Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that eventually destroys the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. More than 5 million Americans are estimated to have the disease, which the National Institute on Aging said is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
A cure for Alzheimer’s could help provide some relief for caregivers, including the so-called sandwich generation – people providing care both for their children and their parents at the same time.
About 15 percent of middle-aged people are helping financially support both an aging parent and a child, according to the Pew Research Center. Older parents are likelier to need caregiving of some kind.
Clinton, the former secretary of state, has made boosting the middle class a centerpiece of her campaign and she has often spoken on the campaign trail about meeting supporters who are struggling to care for family members withAlzheimer’s.