Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease Announces New Senate Co-Chairs

Alzheimer's Association
Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, announced two new senate co-chairs for the bipartisan task force today, during an educational briefing for congressional colleagues, "Is It Alzheimer's? Getting a Diagnosis," in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will work with founding co-chairs Markey and Smith to continue providing a national forum to discuss and investigate issues and proposed solutions concerning Alzheimer's disease. The task force includes 179 members of Congress.

"I am proud to be a part of the expansion of the Congressional Alzheimer's Task Force," Rep. Markey said. "The inclusion as co-chairs of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Susan Collins highlights the global importance of defeating this cruel disease in our life time. Working together, we can do more—and we must. It is vital that one day children will have to look to the history books to learn about the epidemic that plagued the early part of the 21st century—an epidemic caused by an illness that was ultimately cured."

Since its formation in 1999, the task force has strongly supported increased federal funding for Alzheimer research, and continuation of the Alzheimer's Association's Safe Return Program and the Administration on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Demonstration Grants to States Program. It also has addressed Alzheimer-related issues in the Medicare program, such as expanding the Medicare "homebound" definition to allow people with Alzheimer's to attend adult day care programs.

"The Alzheimer's Association applauds Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease members for their commitment to raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease among their colleagues," said Sheldon Goldberg, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association. "The Task Force has been unswerving in its commitment to encourage increased Alzheimer research funding, to foster open and bipartisan discussion about public policy solutions to help meet the long-term care needs of people living with Alzheimer's, and to increase awareness of the disease and its impact on families, the health care system, the government and society."

During the Educational Briefing on Feb. 25, task force members heard an overview of diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and an update on the NIA Imaging Initiative presented by:

Marilyn Albert, PhD, Director, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Professor, Psychiatry and Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Albert also discussed the role of imaging and other new technologies in the diagnostic process, and the importance of early diagnosis for people with the disease and their families.

Marcelle Morrison-Bogorad, MD, Associate Director, Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Programs, National Institute of Aging. Dr. Morrison-Bogorad also discussed the NIA's genetics initiative.

For more information, or to contact Alzheimer's Association, see their website at: www.alz.org

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