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Health

Susan Collins Says More Money Needed for Alzheimer's Research

FALMOUTH, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine highlighted the need for funding for Alzheimer's research while visiting the Stewart Adult Day Center here Tuesday.

The center serves people with Alzheimer's and dementia. Collins says such respite facilities offer much-needed support to caregivers.

"But we need to look at reimbursement for them, which is often not available under the Medicare program, for example," she says. "And we need to make it more widely accessible."

Collins supported a $350 million boost in research funding approved by Congress late last year. She says the U.S. spends $226 billion a year to treat Alzheimer's.

"And $153 billion is from the Medicare or Medicaid program," she says. "So if we don't come up with better treatments or means of prevention or a cure, Alzheimer's alone is going to bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid."

The increase in research funding brought federal investment nearly halfway to the $2 billion a year experts say is needed to have effective treatment and prevention by 2025.