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Important Alzheimer’s bills progressing in the US

The bills the committee passed play a major role in our fight to end a national crisis that has plagued the lives of tens of millions of patients.

A volunteer attends to Alzheimer's patients at a center in Dax, southwestern France
A volunteer attends to Alzheimer's patients at a center in Dax, southwestern France - Copyright AFP/File Jim WATSON
A volunteer attends to Alzheimer's patients at a center in Dax, southwestern France - Copyright AFP/File Jim WATSON

Legislative bills that reinforce Alzheimer’s Disease as a national priority are progressing. These seek to strengthen the national response and increase accountability in federal spending.

The disease currently stands as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., which is partly reflective of an ageing population. Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

This week, the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee on passed three key bills addressing Alzheimer’s in the U.S. The bills include reauthorization of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act.

Commenting on the bills, George Vradenburg of the organisation UsAgainstAlzheimer’s states in a message sent to Digital Journal: “The bills the committee passed play a major role in our fight to end a national crisis that has plagued the lives of tens of millions of patients, caregivers, and loved ones all across our country.”

Vradenburg adds: “These bills reinforce Alzheimer’s as a national priority, strengthen our national response, and increase accountability in federal spending allocated to fighting this disease.”

With the first bill, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), this bill serves as a piece of legislation and commitment by the federal government to prioritize Alzheimer’s. The legislation also seeks to enhance care quality and efficiency.

With the second bill, the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act of 2024. This is a reauthorization bill and seeks to strengthen the response to Alzheimer’s with a specific focus on increasing public awareness of the disease. 

Within this bill is additional funding for state, local and tribal public health departments so they can support the implementation of interventions that centre on reducing risks and increasing early detection and diagnosis of the disease.

With the third bill, the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act enhances accountability and transparency in federal spending for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support services.

Furthermore, the bill requires the U.S. National Institutes of Health to submit annual budget and estimated personnel needed to carry out initiatives related to NAPA.

The bills now advance to the House Floor, where each member of the House of Representatives will be able to consider their support for advancing the bills to becoming federal law.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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