Congress Demonstrates support for Alzheimer's and Memory Loss Testing

It's time for a pat on the back for our readership and members. It's not often that the wishes of a community are reflected by our political leaders in such a direct way. Your thoughts, voices,and wishes have been heard by the Congress of the United States on the topic of memory screening. Congratulations. Simply by becoming a member you have helped advance the cause. Our position at Cognitive Labs is to support screening over time, with our easy to use tools, and to provide a more accurate and easy way for professionals to offer assistance. Awareness and early intervention are our best chances of staving off early memory loss and Alzheimer's. Thanks to you, we have become the largest community concerned with memory loss on the Internet. If we continue to work together, who knows what we can achieve.

Alzheimer's Foundation Applauds House Passage of Memory Screening Proposal

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) today applauded passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of a proposal advanced by AFA to promote memory screenings as a tool that drives early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and encourages successful aging.

The provision was attached to H.R. 5006 that appropriates funding for fiscal 2005 for the departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, and related agencies. The House passed the bill yesterday by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 388-to-13; it will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

The report accompanying the spending bill calls for an analysis by the Secretary of Health and Human Services by March 2005 of "the effectiveness and accuracy of existing screening tools to detect early stage memory impairment." The Secretary is also charged with developing "recommendations to expand access to screening in the public and private sectors."

In applauding the legislative action, Eric J. Hall, AFA's chief executive officer, said: "This is a critical first step in AFA's efforts to secure federal support for a national public-private memory screening initiative. We all need to stand together for care as this devastating disease continues to affect more Americans."

According to Dr. Richard Powers, an AFA board member and chief of the Bureau of Geriatric Psychiatry, Alabama Department of Mental Health, "This cost-effective, safe and simple intervention can direct individuals to appropriate care that can improve quality of life, and provide a vehicle for the distribution of cognitive wellness information to millions of Americans."

Currently, an estimated five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease. The number is expected to rise to 16 million by mid-century.

AFA's latest advocacy builds on an initiative that began last November when it declared National Memory Screening Day to encourage those concerned about memory problems to take advantage of free, local screenings across the country. This annual event will be held again this year on November 16, along with other AFA-sponsored activities during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. For more information, visit http://www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.

In the past year, AFA has taken its message to Capitol Hill on several occasions to rally support behind the promotion of early detection. The initiative coincides with AFA's overall mission to ensure optimal care to those with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families.

AFA, a nonprofit organization, unites grassroots agencies from coast-to- coast that provide hands-on dementia care. Its services include a toll-free hotline -- 866-AFA-8484, counseling, educational materials, a caregiver magazine, and referrals to local resources. For more information, call 866- AFA-8484 or visit http://www.alzfdn.org.

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