On July 27, National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins released the first Professional Judgement Budget, also known as the Bypass Budget, for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias, Bypass Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017—Reaching for a Cure: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Research at NIH. The bypass budget was mandated by Congress in the National Alzheimer’s Project Act enacted in 2011 (P.L. 111-375).
The fiscal year (FY) 2017 bypass budget outlines the “optimal approach NIH would take in an ideal world unconstrained by fiscal limitations.” It concludes that NIH could “significantly accelerate progress against Alzheimer’s disease with an additional investment of $323 million in FY 2017 above the agency’s base appropriation.” The NIH will update the plan through FY 2025, the target date set by the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease for developing effective modes of treatment and prevention.
At the July 27 meeting of National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) Advisory Council, National Institute on Aging (NIA) director Richard Hodes explained the development of the budget, which included input and milestones derived from the 2012 and 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summits, the 2013 AD-Related Dementias meeting, and the 2013 meeting on Advancing Treatment for AD in Individuals with Down Syndrome. Thirteen of NIH institutes and centers, including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), provided feedback on potential scientific gaps and priorities in the combined milestones. NINDS has the second largest AD research portfolio with a particular focus on AD-related dementias.
The AD Bypass Budget recognizes that over the past few years NIH has directed additional funds to support “promising areas of science” and acknowledges the appropriation of $100 million in FY 2014 and $25 million in FY 2015 to NIA with “the expectation that a significant portion of these funds would go towards Alzheimer’s research.” From FY 2011 to FY 2014, NIH spending on AD research increased by 25 percent. The project supported by these increases include population studies of trends in the incidence and prevalence of dementia, the development of novel interventions to support dementia caregivers, and clinical trials of therapies in people at the highest risk of dementia, among others.