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Alzheimer's News, 11/6/17
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The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure Act introduced in House and Senate

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) are proud to support the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, new bipartisan legislation prioritizing our nation’s approach to Alzheimer’s disease. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act was introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and by Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). The legislation was developed in close partnership between the sponsors, the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM.

“Too often, Alzheimer’s and other dementias are viewed just as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a fatal disease that more than 5 million Americans are living with,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association and AIM President and CEO. “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will ensure communities across the country have access to resources to promote effective Alzheimer’s interventions and better cognitive health that can lead to improved health outcomes.”

The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would establish Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence in communities around the country to expand and promote the evidence base for effective Alzheimer’s interventions, and issue funding to state and local public health departments to promote cognitive health, risk reduction, early detection and diagnosis, and the needs of caregivers. Critically, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would also increase collection, analysis and timely reporting of data on cognitive decline and caregiving to inform future public health actions.

“Alzheimer’s disease is one of the greatest and under-recognized public health threats of our time. Five and a half million Americans are living with the disease, and that number is soaring as our overall population grows older and lives longer,” said Sen. Collins. “After decades of expanding biomedical research in Alzheimer’s, we are ready for the next step: to translate research into practice. I urge my colleagues to join us as cosponsors of this critical bipartisan legislation.”

“As one of the leading causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s prevention is crucial to combating this debilitating disease,” said Sen. Masto. “The number of Americans afflicted with this illness is growing at a staggering pace, and without intervention, as many as 16 million Americans could be living with the disease by 2050. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will address the scourge of Alzheimer’s by creating centers of excellence and assisting state and local governments in their efforts to promote awareness through education and dissemination of best practices. We must work to promote Alzheimer’s prevention, enhance access to treatment, improve patients’ quality of life and find ways to end Alzheimer’s before it claims more lives.”

At an estimated cost of $259 billion annually — including $175 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments — Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country, and is the only leading cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

“Alzheimer’s is the costliest disease in America, with over 5 million Americans living with this disease. Almost every Kentuckian I know is affected by this disease in some way, and many have become caregivers for their family members suffering from Alzheimer’s. That’s why I was proud to join a bipartisan, bicameral group of members to introduce the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. This bill supports cooperative agreements between public and private entities focused on ways to develop best practices for intervention and caregiving, which will help lower costs and promote evidence based research for those who suffer from this awful disease and for those who care for these individuals,” said Rep. Guthrie.

“From my very first days in Congress, I have worked to improve the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and help modern medicine move closer to finding a cure. Through the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act and the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, we laid the groundwork for unprecedented federal investments in Alzheimer’s research and improved care planning for those facing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Now we have a critical opportunity to take another giant step forward on this issue, making investments in Alzheimer’s infrastructure that will drive public health research and promote prevention, early detection and diagnosis, all leading to lower costs and better care. I’m proud to stand alongside my fellow Alzheimer’s champions in introducing the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act and I look forward to getting this important legislation signed into law,” said Rep. Paul Tonko.

“We are grateful for the bipartisan support by the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act’s sponsors and for their continued leadership in the fight to end Alzheimer’s,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director. “While we work towards the development of effective preventions and treatments for Alzheimer's, we must implement effective public health solutions today that can help to improve the lives of and outcomes for those living with the disease.”

“Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease that affects millions of Americans and their loved ones, and the more we can do to find a cure, the better. At the same time, we must also do what we can to ease the pain of those suffering and provide help to caregivers, taking a truly comprehensive approach to this fight,” Sen. Moore Capito said. “By creating a public health infrastructure, this bipartisan legislation will help us tackle Alzheimer’s on all fronts and move us closer to finding a cure.”

“As the number of people diagnosed and living with Alzheimer’s disease continues to grow, we have to help alleviate the burden this disease has on our health care system and families across Virginia,” said Sen. Kaine. “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act addresses a problem I often hear from Virginians: how do we improve care for loved ones who are battling Alzheimer’s? States often lack resources that would help caregivers address patient needs. This bipartisan bill would improve care and outcomes by providing a full range of information and support to families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, and boosting local efforts dedicated to addressing this pressing public health need. We are also extremely thankful for the support of the Alzheimer’s Association on this bill, and the work its local chapters do in communities across America to help patients and their families and raise awareness about the disease.”

In 2005, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered to create and launch the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) and developed the Public Health Road Map. The HBI Road Map includes actions for state and local public health departments to promote cognitive functioning, address cognitive impairment and help meet the needs of caregivers. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would increase implementation of the HBI Road Map nationwide.

“Many, many family and friends of Alzheimer’s patients sacrifice their time and resources to assist their loved ones who are unable to care for themselves. We must ensure they have as much support as possible,” said Rep. Smith. “As the number of Alzheimer’s patients is expected to multiply in the coming decades, we must increase funding for vital research and education on how to help patients and their caregivers cope with it. This has become a moral imperative.”

“I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. This innovative bill will promote early detection and diagnosis, support caregivers, and reduce health disparities related to the care and treatment of Alzheimer’s patients,” said Rep. Waters.

Former U.S. Surgeon General and CDC Director Dr. David Satcher has said, “Alzheimer’s is the most under-recognized threat to public health in the 21st century.” The Alzheimer’s Association, working through the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement and its advocates, will work to gain further bipartisan support for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act in the 115th Congress.
 

Alzheimer's Association®
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.

Alzheimer’s Impact Movement
The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization working in strategic partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. AIM advocates for policies to overcome Alzheimer’s disease, including increased investment in research, improved care and support, and development of approaches to reduce the risk of developing dementia. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.

Contact: Alzheimer's Association
Media line: 312.335.4078
Email: media@alz.org


 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.