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Legislation would raise awareness, infrastructure to fight Alzheimer’s

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Letter to the editor

DEAR EDITOR,

It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s disease. Too often Alzheimer’s is treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the U.S. develops every 65 seconds. Two-thirds of its annual costs are being borne by Medicare and Medicaid. It is one that demands more attention from our government.

As a nurse in Rome, I have witnessed the toll this disease takes on people with a diagnosis and their caregivers. I am a former caregiver of my dad who lost his battle to Lewy Body Dementia in 2010. I have seen firsthand the financial and the emotional costs of dementia. I will continue to fight this disease until we have a cure.

Congress has a chance to take decisive action passing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256). Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer's interventions including increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. Alzheimer’s costs the country more than $277 billion a year, which is why we need the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. If we are going to end Alzheimer’s disease, then we must start treating it like the public health threat it is.

Join me in asking Congressman Tom Graves and Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. David Perdue to fight for the millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s by sponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.