The ALS Association

Ice Bucket Challenge Progress

Senate Appropriates Additional $7.5 Million for ALS Research Program Includes $2.5 Million for Respite Care

December 21, 2009
The U.S. Senate has appropriated an additional $7.5 million for the ALS Research Program (ALSRP) at the Department of Defense (DOD), a 50% increase over last year!  The funding is in addition to the $6 million (20% increase) Congress appropriated for the National ALS Registry last week and also comes as Congress added another $2.5 million to support the Lifespan Respite Care Act, which helps to fund respite care programs in the states. 
 
We would like to thank everyone who contacted their Members of Congress throughout the year in support of the ALSRP.  Your efforts led Congress to significantly increase its commitment to the ALSRP, something that was not done for most other disease research programs.  The legislation now heads to the President, who is expected to sign it into law.
 
The ALSRP is playing a vital role in the search for a treatment for ALS.  With this funding, the program will have received a total of nearly $18 million to support translational research, which is specifically designed to find a treatment for ALS. 
 
However, the ALSRP is particularly important during the current economic climate when researchers and institutions have faced challenges securing private funding for research. That's because unlike other research funding at DOD, ALSRP funding is available to researchers throughout the country, including those who may not otherwise have been able to pursue ALS research. Moreover, the ALSRP is taking a strategic approach that involves input from top ALS researchers in the private sector as well as leaders from the DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs.  Through this partnership, the ALSRP is helping to ensure that research dollars support the best science and those programs that show the most promise for finding a treatment. 
 
$2.5 Million for Respite Care
 
In another victory for people with ALS, Congress has appropriated an additional $2.5 million for respite care, bringing total funding to $5 million over the past two years.  The funding is available to states on a competitive grant basis and will be used to expand the ability of states to support local respite care programs available to people with ALS and other diseases.  The Association is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and our partners in the Lifespan Respite Coalition and will keep the ALS community updated as this funding is distributed to the states.

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