U.S. Federal Officials Release Draft of National Alzheimer’s Plan

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are debilitating conditions that impair memory, thought processes, and functioning, primarily among older adults. The effects of these diseases can be devastating, both for individuals afflicted with ADRD and for their families. People with ADRD may require significant amounts of health care and intensive long-term services and supports — including, but not limited to, management of chronic conditions, help taking medications, round-the-clock supervision and care, or assistance with personal care activities, such as eating, bathing, and dressing. In the United States, ADRD affects as many as 5 million people and nearly 40% of the population aged 85 and older. Roughly 13.2 million older Americans are projected to have ADRD by 2050.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to identify how to prevent ADRD and to address the challenges faced by people with these conditions and their caregivers. The National Institute on Aging leads the National Institutes of Health’s efforts in clinical, behavioral and social research into Alzheimer’s disease, aimed at finding ways to treat and ultimately prevent the disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to implement the Healthy Brain Initiative, including assisting with monitoring the public health burden of cognitive impairment and enhancing understanding about how diverse groups perceive cognitive health. The Administration on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program is helping to create responsive, integrated, and sustainable service delivery systems for people with dementias and their caregivers.

National Alzheimer’s Project Act

The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) creates an important opportunity to build upon and leverage HHS programs and other federal efforts to help change the trajectory of ADRD. The law calls for a National Plan for ADRD with input from a public-private Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services. The Advisory Council will make recommendations to HHS for priority actions to expand, coordinate, and condense programs in order to improve the health outcomes of people with ADRD and reduce the financial burden of these conditions on those with the diseases, their families, and society.

In order to inform the National Plan for ADRD, HHS has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DoD) to convene an Interagency Group on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. The group includes HHS representatives from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), National Institute on Aging (NIA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Administration on Aging (AoA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Indian Health Service (IHS), and Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The Interagency Group is working to carry out NAPA’s charges to coordinate research and services across agencies, accelerate the development of ADRD treatments, improve early diagnosis and coordination of care, reduce ethnic and racial disparities in rates of ADRD, and coordinate with international efforts to fight these conditions. The plan this group is developing will be presented to the Advisory Council for review.

National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease

Draft National Plan

The Draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease is now available. The draft National Plan is structured around five ambitious goals:

  • Prevent and Effectively Treat Alzheimer’s Disease by 2025.
  • Optimize Care Quality and Efficiency.
  • Expand Supports for People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Families.
  • Enhance Public Awareness and Engagement.
  • Track Progress and Drive Improvement.

HHS is seeking input on the draft National Plan through March 30, 2012. Please send your comments to NAPA@hhs.gov. All comments will be shared with the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services.

Please note that throughout the draft National Plan, the term “Alzheimer’s disease,” or AD, refers to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, consistent with the approach Congress used in the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. Unless otherwise noted, in this draft National Plan AD refers to these conditions collectively.

Draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease [Available February 22, 2012]

Full HTML Version   http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan.shtml

Full PDF Version   http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan.pdf (35 PDF pages)