The new 2014 federal budget includes $29.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This represents a $1 billion increase from 2013 funding levels, when sequestration reduced the NIH budget by five percent. Called an ‘Omnibus,’ the funding bill wrapped all 12 appropriation bills into one.
The NIH estimated the five percent sequestration cut resulted in about 640 fewer competitive research project grants, placing many ongoing research initiatives on hold across the country and preventing other important and innovative research projects from being funded at all. The funding increase is estimated to allow for funding of approximately 385 competitive research project grants, but is still $700 million short of pre-sequestration funding levels and will not keep up with inflation. This will likely result in some research projects being shut down permanently.
Several items in the new budget directly fund Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research, which may also help advance the understanding of Lewy body dementia. The 2014 budget includes $122 million in additional funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research and care programs — the largest increase ever. Funding for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke includes continued funding for the BRAIN Initiative and the Cures Acceleration Network. Also included is $16 million for the Department of Defense’s Parkinson’s research program, fully restoring the funding previously reduced by sequestration. This program identifies and funds research to discover how and why Parkinson’s disease develops, and how to better diagnose, treat and prevent the disease.
Other critically important increases in the budget were for the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the National Science Foundation.