WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is planning to spend more on Alzheimer’s research. It’s adding an extra $50 million right away and, if Congress agrees, millions more next year.

The move comes as the government develops the first National Alzheimer’s Plan to hunt effective treatments for the devastating disease and help overwhelmed families cope in the meantime.

The National Institutes of Health currently spends about $450 million a year researching Alzheimer’s, which affects more than 5 million Americans. That toll may more than double by 2050 with the aging population.

Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH’s director, says he will shift $50 million from other research areas for extra Alzheimer’s spending this year. For next year, he says President Barack Obama will seek $80 million in new money for Alzheimer’s research.


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