$3 Billion Boost for NIH in FY2018 Appropriations Bill Should Also Boost ALS Research

Late last month, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion fiscal year 2018 Consolidated Appropriations spending bill that included a $3 billion increase to funding for medical research to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Funding to the NIH has increased to $37 billion, the largest bump they have seen in years.

Since NIH is the largest funder of ALS research in the world, any increase to their budget could also mean an increase in funding for ALS research. In fiscal 2017, the NIH spent $55 million on ALS research, up from $52.2 million in fiscal 2016.

“It’s a huge win for The ALS Association and the ALS community to see such a significant NIH budget increase,” said Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of The ALS Association. “We’re confident the increased budget will enable new ALS research, which is critical to ending this devastating disease, and thank our lawmakers for their hard work to make it possible. This gives our advocate community a boost, increasing our momentum to work hard toward our appropriation goals for fiscal year 2019.”

The ALS Association and its vast network of ALS Advocates are committed to supporting increased funding for the NIH, especially for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the lead institute for ALS research. Increased funding for the NIH is a consistent part of the Association’s legislative priorities each year.

The ALS Association is second to the NIH for ALS funding globally, with a $18 million research budget in fiscal year 2019 to fund external grants to top ALS researchers around the world.

The ALS Association is pleased that, as part of the increase, the NIH’s BRAIN Initiative received a $140 million investment. The BRAIN Initiative is aimed at developing tools, technologies, and foundational knowledge to understand how the brain’s circuits code and store information.

The Initiative’s work includes mapping the brain’s circuits and recording and modulating brain activity using cutting-edge technologies. We believe many of the BRAIN Initiative’s research projects will add knowledge to understanding the disease pathways underlying ALS.

The ALS Association will bring together more than 500 ALS Advocates in Washington, D.C., at the annual National ALS Advocacy Conference next month to continue to advocate for increased NIH funding, along with our other important legislative priorities.

For more information about our legislative priorities for the conference and this fiscal year, click here.

The NIH has posted its Congressional Justification and materials related to the administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for the agency to the NIH Office of Budget website at: https://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/br.html.

The Overview is available at: https://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/pdfs/FY19/br/Overview.pdf.

Justifications for individual institutes and centers are available at: https://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/insti_center_subs.html.

2 thoughts on “$3 Billion Boost for NIH in FY2018 Appropriations Bill Should Also Boost ALS Research”

  1. I really pray for a cure of this disease. I watchedy dear brother suffer from this until his death in late sept 2027. He left behind 3 sons and a wife. It was devastating to watch him slowly losing everyday function. In the end all he could move was his eyes and they were always filled with tears. He never smoked, drank, swore or lied. He was a track coach for 35 years at Boston University in Boston, ma. Hundreds of his athletes from all over the world came here to honor him. They call him a legend in his field. The most common comment made by all his athletes was “I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Bruce”. (He believed in teaching the person before the athlete and even went so far as to tutor some of his athletes who were struggling with studies. They stood in line at his office to talk to him about anything and everything from studies,home sickness and their personal lives. They all came to him for advice. He never judged just gave good counsel. This he did on his on his own time!)Such endearing words for us, his family to hear! He was extremely humble about his many achievements. I didn’t know most of it until I read it in local papers and the tribute the school put out. We are not sure when he contracted ALS he didn’t tell his wife and boys until 15 mos before leaving us and I only was told 11 mos before. He did this purposely as he did not want us to be upset and wanted to enjoy his family without sadness for as long as he could. All he ever asked for in his sickness was he “wanted to walk with Jesus”. Well I am sure he is!! he lived a kind loving life and passed his wisdom and caring freely to all around him. He was truly blessed. And he truly believed! If you care to “google” his name BRUCE LEHANE and see all the beautiful stories written on line and on Utube! I am proud and blessed to have him as my baby brother. There were only 3 of us. I have now lost 2 brothers, mother and father. I never thought I would be last!
    I did tell him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him. He was so gentle I called him the human tranquilizer because when you were around him you felt calm. I surely miss him and always will.


  2. Reblogged this on SunnyStrong and commented:
    “Since NIH is the largest funder of ALS research in the world, any increase to their budget could also mean an increase in funding for ALS research. In fiscal 2017, the NIH spent $55 million on ALS research, up from $52.2 million in fiscal 2016.”


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