On December 8 and December 15, 2010, both Houses of Congress passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA); S. 3036, which is now pending the President’s signature, making this a more hopeful News Year for the 11 million Americans caring for a husband, wife, family member, or friend with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. Read more in an article by By Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D., et. al., in te Huffington Post.
When signed into law, NAPA would require HHS to create a strategic plan for the federal government’s role in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. This would include forming an advisory council, and coordinating research, care, institutional services, and home- and community-based programs. A copy of the legislation can be found as 3036 National Alzheimer’s Project Act on Govtrack.us.
With this legislation, the U.S. becomes one of the last developed nations to make dementia a national public health priority and develop a strategic plan. Several other countries have already done so, including Australia, Cyprus, England, France, India, Malta, Norway, Scotland, South Korea, and Wales. Alzheimer’s Disease International identifies, “develop[ing] national plans to deal with the disease” as the top priority in combatting the disease worldwide.