Monday, August 10, 2009

Senators Bayh, Martinez Step Up Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease


Now for some good news.
“Alzheimer’s causes a tremendous emotional strain to the families caring for patients, and a financial strain on our nation’s already stressed health care system. With the number of Alzheimer’s patients on the rise and the federal government spending an estimated one hundred billion dollars on their care this year, we must increase our efforts to detect and combat this disease. Establishing the Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project in the White House will accelerate the development of cutting edge medical treatments to fight Alzheimer’s and improve patient care for the 5.3 million Americans and their families who bravely confront this disease every day.”
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Washington – U.S. Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) today introduced a measure to create an Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project within the White House. The office will coordinate all research, clinical care and services for the prevention and cure of Alzheimer’s disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Sen. Bayh, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, said, “Alzheimer’s causes a tremendous emotional strain to the families caring for patients, and a financial strain on our nation’s already stressed health care system. With the number of Alzheimer’s patients on the rise and the federal government spending an estimated one hundred billion dollars on their care this year, we must increase our efforts to detect and combat this disease. Establishing the Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project in the White House will accelerate the development of cutting edge medical treatments to fight Alzheimer’s and improve patient care for the 5.3 million Americans and their families who bravely confront this disease every day.”

“Our nation’s current health care system is unprepared to meet the needs of the growing number of Alzheimer’s patients. As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age and the prevalence of this disease increases, innovative drugs and treatments are desperately needed to manage and slow this disease,” said Sen. Martinez, lead Republican on the Special Committee on Aging. “This new office will coordinate all care and research efforts in fighting this progressive, disabling disease of the mind and body. By assisting patients and their family members, many governmental and non-governmental agencies studying the causes, effects, and clinical and service needs of Alzheimer’s will be able to combine their best practices of care for those afflicted with the disease and hopefully one day provide a cure.”

The Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project will produce a national strategic plan to aid the millions of Americans who now have Alzheimer’s and the millions of Americans who are at-risk for the disease.

Studies show that almost half of all Americans who reach age 85 and beyond will be afflicted with Alzheimer's. The director of the Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project will be appointed to the Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Science and Technology and will have input in all realms relating to this devastating disease. The office will also ensure the inclusion of ethnic and racial populations at higher risk for Alzheimer’s.

The Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act has received the support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Joining Senators Martinez and Bayh in this effort are Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Jon Tester (D-MT).
Bob DeMarco is an Alzheimer's caregiver and editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for advice and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob taught at the University of Georgia, was an executive at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and is a mentor. He has written more than 700 articles with more than 18,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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