WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the leading care, research and advocacy organization for Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Association® applauds members of the U.S. Senate for passing the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) (S. 3036). Because of this successful vote, we are one step closer to laying the groundwork for a national strategic plan to address the Alzheimer's epidemic.
The Alzheimer's Association is grateful for the leadership of Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) who introduced and championed this important legislation in the Senate.
"The threat that Alzheimer's disease poses to the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens demands an aggressive and well-coordinated response," said Senator Bayh. "Our bill creates the first-ever national plan to combat Alzheimer's and ensures that every dollar spent on the disease will be used to get the best possible care for patients. At a time when medical research funds are too scarce, the National Alzheimer's Project will support the kind of research that will, hopefully, one day result in a cure for this devastating disease."
"Today, an estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, more than double the number in 1980," said Senator Collins. "If nothing is done to change the current trajectory of the disease, 13.5 million Americans over the age of 65 will have Alzheimer's disease by 2050. Moreover, if nothing is done to slow or stop the disease, Alzheimer's will cost the United States $20 trillion over the next 40 years. Despite these alarming projections, to date there is no national strategy to defeat Alzheimer's. The National Alzheimer's Project Act will create a coordinated strategic national plan to focus our efforts and ensure that our resources are maximized and leveraged to find better treatments, a means of prevention, and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer's disease."
NAPA calls for a coordinated effort across the federal government to combat the crisis across the broad spectrum of the disease from research, to care, to institutional services and to home and community based programs.
"The Alzheimer's Association and its advocates have actively sought passage of this critical legislation and are pleased that it has successfully passed the Senate. We now look forward to its swift passage in the House of Representatives," said Robert J. Egge, the Alzheimer's Association Vice President of Public Policy. "More than 5 million individuals and 11 million of their caregivers face the devastating reality of Alzheimer's every single day and this legislation will help to ensure a full and complete campaign is put in place so that future generations won't have to endure this same reality.
In addition to Senators Bayh and Collins, the Association would also like to commend the bipartisan leadership of Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) for ushering this critical bill through the Senate. The Association would also like to recognize the efforts of Alzheimer's Association advocates from across the nation who have played a central role in communicating with their Senators the importance of NAPA and what its passage could mean for millions of families. The Alzheimer's Association commends the Senate for listening to the needs of Alzheimer's families and now urges the House to pass this important legislation as well.
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 www.alz.org.
SOURCE Alzheimer's Association