Sept 13, 2011: Markey Statement on World Alzheimer

Markey Statement on World Alzheimer’s Report 2011
Congressman is co-author of the Health Outcomes Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act, which seeks to encourage Alzheimer’s diagnoses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), founder and co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Alzheimer’s Taskforce, today issued the following statement after Alzheimer’s Disease International issued a new report, “World Alzheimer’s Report 2011: The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention”.

Today’s report confirms that up to one half of people suffering Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias remain undiagnosed,” said Rep. Markey. “The report supports the need for new policies to encourage frequent and early diagnoses, and this is exactly what the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act will do.”

The new report finds that primary care doctors can “with reasonable accuracy” diagnose dementia patients during routine visits, and that anti-dementia drugs are statistically more effective when administered to patients during early stages of the disease. In addition, the report argues that early diagnosis can help families and caregivers keep patients home longer.

The report’s message is clear – we should encourage doctors to diagnose for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. And by including caregivers in the diagnosis process, doctors can better equip families to care for their loved ones, help patients avoid complications and hospitalizations, and reduce costs for everyone,” said Rep. Markey.

Rep. Markey introduced the bipartisan HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, H.R. 1386, with Representatives Smith (R-N.J.), McDermott (D-Wash.), and Burgess (R-Tex.) in April. The HOPE Act would give Alzheimer’s disease the attention it deserves in the diagnostic setting by providing Medicare coverage for comprehensive diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease.
In May, Reps. Markey and Smith introduced H.R 1897, the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2011. The Breakthrough Act would increase the federal government’s commitment to Alzheimer’s research by requiring the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a strategic plan to expedite therapeutic outcomes for those with or at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and coordinate Alzheimer’s research within the Office of the Director of the NIH and across all Centers and Institutes of the NIH.
Reps. Markey and Smith are also House authors of the National Alzheimer's Project Act (N.A.P.A.) signed into law earlier this year.  One of the most significant victories in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease in the past three decades, N.A.P.A. provides strategic planning and coordination for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease across the federal government.