The American Medical Association has endorsed a petition asking President Donald Trump to create an “American Darkness Initiative” to “combat the epidemic of dementia.”
The AMA’s letter, signed by more than 20 medical experts and doctors, urges the Trump administration to establish an Office of Dementia Prevention and Research and to launch an initiative to identify and train caregivers and caregivers of vulnerable populations.
The AMA has long urged the federal government to provide incentives to improve care and support people with dementia and related disabilities.
The agency has long been one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s proposed budget, which would slash funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies that are focused on advancing dementia research and treatment.
The petition says that by targeting specific areas of dementia research, the Trump budget would increase costs for Americans and worsen the health of the American population.
The president’s proposal also would slash more than $1 trillion from the NIH budget, and would end a program that provides research grants to states and universities that are critical to Alzheimer’s research and clinical development.
The administration is also proposing to eliminate a $200 million program that has funded studies of Alzheimer’s dementia in children.
The proposal also includes funding for more than 60 Alzheimer’s disease research centers across the country, including one in South Carolina.
The association is asking Trump to “ensure that every patient with dementia receives the care they deserve, and to prioritize research that will advance the prevention of dementia and reduce the burden on Medicare.”
It says that the proposal will have a “profound impact” on the quality of care that people with this disease receive.
The letter comes amid mounting concerns about dementia, as many experts have called for a new nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic.
In June, the American Academy of Neurology called for the federal agency to establish a “National Darkness Fund” to assist caregivers of dementia-related people, including caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities, those with developmental disabilities, and those with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Trump has repeatedly called for an end to the federal deficit, and has proposed cutting $1.4 trillion from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security over the next decade.