November 06, 2017

Senator Cortez Masto Joins Colleagues to Introduce Legislation to Create Public Health Infrastructure to Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today introduced the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. This bipartisan legislation would create a public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health. Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“As one of the leading causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s prevention is crucial to combatting this debilitating disease,” said Cortez Masto. “The number of Americans afflicted with this illness is growing at a staggering pace, and without intervention, nearly 16 million Americans could be affected by 2050. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will address the scourge of Alzheimer’s by creating centers of excellence, and assisting state and local governments in their efforts to promote awareness through education and dissemination of best practices. We must work to promote Alzheimer’s prevention, enhance access to treatment, improve patients’ quality of life and find ways to end Alzheimer’s before it claims more lives.” 

“Too often, Alzheimer’s and other dementias are viewed as normal issues of aging, rather than as fatal disease, with devastating effects for caregivers as well,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement President and CEO. “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act invests in a nationwide Alzheimer’s public health response, which will improve quality of life for those living with the disease and their caregivers, while reducing costs for both American families and for our country. We deeply appreciate the continued bipartisan leadership of the act’s sponsors in addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis.”

This legislation would apply a public health approach to Alzheimer’s disease by establishing a modern infrastructure for the prevention, treatment, and care of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Headed by the Centers of Disease and Prevention (CDC), it would establish:

  1. Centers of Excellence in Public Health Practice dedicated to promoting effective Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving interventions as well as educating the public on Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and brain health.  The centers would implement the CDC’s Healthy Aging Public Health Road Map, and would take key steps to support health and social services professionals as well as families and communities. This legislation would authorize $12 million for centers across the nation.
  2. Core Capacity and Enhanced Activity Cooperative Agreements with the CDC that would be awarded to State Health Departments to develop and carry out Alzheimer’s interventions. Core capacity awards would help states build a foundation, and enhanced activity awards would help those states that are carrying out public health Alzheimer’s steps to amplify their initiatives through public-private partnerships. This legislation would authorize $20 million for this process.
  3. Data Analysis and Reporting Cooperative Agreements with CDC that would ensure that data on Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline, caregiving, and health disparities are analyzed and disseminated to the public in a timely manner. This legislation authorizes $5 million for these awards as well as to increase the CDC’s data collection capacity.

For a one-pager on the bill, click HERE

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.