June 19, 2018

Cortez Masto Highlights Her Commitment to Fighting the Alzheimer’s Public Health Crisis

Washington, D.C. – At today’s U.S. Senate Aging Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) highlighted the importance of improving access to Alzheimer’s care for patients and providing greater community resources for caregivers. Senator Cortez Masto and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the bipartisan BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, which would create a public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health. At the hearing, experts in Alzheimer’s care and research as well as family members of loved ones who have suffered from the disease testified about the need for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act and advocated for its passage.

“The BOLD Act sets the tone that Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis, and we are creating an infrastructure that is necessary for a coordinated care plan…so that we can tap into an infrastructure to address everything,” said Cortez Masto. “I just came back from Nevada, and we had a roundtable discussion in Northern Nevada. I had a lot of my stakeholders at the table to identify the gaps and where we need to work together. In Nevada we have a state aging division that is phenomenal, they do an incredible job. Now is the time to coordinate and connect everybody together.”

Cortez Masto continued by stating that one priority for improving care infrastructure is to ensure that doctors and first responders treating Alzheimer’s patients are trained to “connect people with the resources they need for education, early diagnosis and help, and assistance for caregivers.”

Cortez Masto also raised concerns about disparities in Alzheimer’s rates among minority communities and asked the CDC to elaborate on data showing dementia related health disparities. 

Dr. Lisa C. McGuire, the head of the CDC’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program stated in response that the CDC does see a higher number of individuals that are African American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian and Alaskan Native that are reporting subjective cognitive decline and that the CDC is working increase public awareness about the disease and risk reduction strategies.