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Public Forum: Voices needed to prioritize Alzheimer’s

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Imagine a decent-sized New Mexico town where every single person is losing memory, can’t solve problems, has difficulty with familiar tasks, is wracked with confusion and has severe problems with speaking or writing and there is little or no healthcare support. You don’t need to imagine.

New Mexico has 38,000 persons living with Alzheimer’s disease – that’s more than the population of Hobbs. Many of these people face the challenges of living in rural and isolated communities without adequate healthcare support or services. This is unacceptable and underscores the growing public health crisis of Alzheimer’s disease in our state.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death. We know of no cure, treatment or means of prevention. Is there no good news? There can be if we take action.

I am a volunteer advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter, because this disease affects us all in New Mexico and in the nation. Many voices are needed to let our lawmakers know that Alzheimer’s is a priority.

Your voice added to mine can make a difference. Ask your Congressman, Steve Pearce, to make these issues a priority : 1) Increased funding to the National Institutes of Health for Alzheimer’s research – the amount requested in fiscal year 2019 is an additional $425 million; and 2) Support of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer\’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256), which would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer\’s interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

Thank you,
Sandy Johnson
Ambassador, Alzheimer’s Association

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