The U.S. Senate's Aging Committee held a hearing on the fight against Alzheimer's disease. Former model and restaurateur B. Smith revealed that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease few months ago. She urged the senators to approve more funding for research, as it would make a difference for the millions with the disease.
Smith, 65, along with medical and research experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Mayo Clinic and other centres testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
She said, "I'm here because I don't want anybody else to have to go through this." She pleaded the committee, "to make a difference not just for the 5 million Americans with Alzheimer's and their caregivers, but for the future generations who will face this."
Compared with $5 billion for cancer and $2 billion for cardiovascular disease, the National Institute of Health (NIH) currently invests $586 million for Alzheimer's research.
Richard Hodes, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Aging, part of NIH, said, NIH has requested an additional $51 million for Alzheimer's research in the president's 2016 budget. The additional funds would be used to bolster research into identifying new risk and protective genes; drug discovery and development; and trials of therapies for people at the highest risk of the disease.