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Alzheimer's National Prevention Act Becomes Law

  • In the first week of the new year, President Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Prevention Act into Law. This law requires that the Department of Health and Human Services appoint an inter-agency council to recommend a national plan of action for managing the growing threat of Alzheimer's disease.

    Managing the cognitive health of an aging population is a complex problem to solve but coordination of resources on a national level is a great first step. Such careful planning could yield tremendous benefits and will optimize our chances of success.

    The inter-agency council appointed under the new law will include representatives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Veterans Affairs (VA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The council will also include physicians, academic experts, and caregivers. The inter-agency representation and inclusive nature of the council membership bodes well for a thoughtful plan of action.

    While no funds were legislated into this Act, the commitment to developing a national plan is the necessary first step to ensuring a budgetary commitment. This is a strong sign that appropriate leadership and attention will be applied to national resources in a coordinated effort to promote vital aging for the baby boomer generation.