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House Passes New Alzheimer's Bill That Gives $20 Million To Research Annually

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A new law will direct funds toward the implementation of interventions focusing on early detection and risk reduction of Alzheimer's. The neurodegenerative disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.   ( Sabine van Erp | Pixabay )

A bill that authorizes $100 million to fund the improvement on prevention, treatment, and care for patients suffering from Alzheimer's Disease has been signed into law.

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Islands shared the good news with the press this week. He co-sponsored the legislation with fellow Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

U.S. OKs Alzheimer's Law

The BOLD (Building Our Largest Dementia) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act passed the U.S. Senate on Dec. 13 and then the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 19. U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed the act into law on Dec. 31.

Senator Reed says that the legislation will help translate everything that has been discovered about the disease, which has afflicted millions across the country, into practice. This, he explained, would lead to more effective prevention and therapy.

"I am thrilled that our bipartisan bill to strengthen our country's response to Alzheimer's was officially signed into law," added Senator Kaine in a press release. "Too many families know what it's like to have a loved one with Alzheimer's, and I hope that our efforts will start to provide much-needed relief to those affected."

The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Law allocates $100 million spread over five years to build local centers dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and care for patients. This includes the implementation of interventions focusing on early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, preventing avoidable hospitalizations, reducing health disparities, and support to meet the need for caregivers.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will spearhead the effort.

The Alzheimer's Problem In The US

Alzheimer's, the most common type of dementia, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It is the sixth leading cause of death among American adults.

In 2014, an estimated 5 million people aged 65 years old and above are living with Alzheimer's across the country. The number is expected to more than triple to 16 million by 2050.

The United States spends more than $259 billion per year on treatment of the disease.

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