News from Representative Tom Emmer


Dear Friend,

As the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, there is still so much that is unknown about Alzheimer’s. Perhaps what’s most frustrating is that a cure has yet to be discovered.

More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and statistics show that rates of diagnosis are rapidly increasing. In fact, by 2050, the number of people sixty-five years and older with Alzheimer’s is estimated to triple. We must find a cure to stop this relentless disease.

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Congressman Emmer touring the University of Minnesota N. Bud Grossman Center for Memory Research and Care.

Since coming to Congress, I have consistently supported funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Although reducing the federal budget remains a top priority, targeted spending on medical research is paramount and something I am proud to support. During the last fiscal year, Congress provided an additional $425 million in Alzheimer’s research funding. The NIH – in concert with other health agencies and outside organizations - are utilizing these funds to implement a National Alzheimer’s Plan, an effort to establish timelines and milestones for research and prevention goals, including effective treatment of Alzheimer's by 2025.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a mere five-year delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s will save more than $220 billion and reduce the number of those afflicted by 5.7 million by 2050. This is just one reason why research on Alzheimer’s is so important and why I will continue to support funding to keep this action plan moving forward.

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Congressman Emmer with members of the Alzheimer's Association, and University of Minnesota N. Bud Grossman Center Doctors and staff.

Beyond the important work being done by federal medical researchers, members of our communities right here in Minnesota have taken it upon themselves to be advocacy champions for those battling Alzheimer’s. One such individual is my constituent and Alzheimer's Association Ambassador, Kanada Yazbek. She has fought, day in and day out, to ensure those living with this disease have access to the care and resources they need. At a recent town hall, she pointed out a glaring issue for younger Americans dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia: Adults under the age of 60, living with dementia are finding that access to support and services is not immediately available. 

It is estimated that 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s. Because of their age, they are not eligible for federal support. As a result, I became a cosponsor of the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act. This important bill would provide the same resources to individuals with Alzheimer's that are younger than 60. I also became a cosponsor of the Improving Hope for Alzheimer’s Act, which would enable access to care planning services available for individuals with Alzheimer’s. These are just two small steps in a bigger race to improve the lives of the millions of Americans afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

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Congressman Emmer with Kanada, and her partner John. 

I appreciate Kanada and our community members who come to our town halls and advocate for legislation that will benefit Minnesotans in need. Acting on these efforts in Washington will bring us one step closer to finding a cure, and I am committed to doing my part to ensure that the adequate resources are available for that to happen.

Sincerely,

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