The Alzheimer's gamble

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Science  31 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6405, pp. 838-841
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6405.838

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For years, patient advocates have pointed to the growing toll of Alzheimer's disease and its burgeoning costs to the U.S. health care system. Spurred by those projections and a controversial national goal to effectively treat the disease by 2025, Congress has tripled the National Institutes of Health's annual budget for Alzheimer's and related dementias over 3 years to $1.9 billion. The National Institute on Aging, which oversees the new funds, doesn't just want to plump up existing Alzheimer's labs. The institute is also luring investigators from other fields to bring in fresh ideas. But the recent failure of several major Alzheimer's clinical trials has amplified concerns that U.S. officials and some scientists have oversold the plan for a treatment by the middle of the next decade.