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Higgins stresses importance of renewed national focus on Alzheimer's disease

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Apr 17th 2013 09:30 am

Congressman to speak at symposium in Western New York, meet with local delegates in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Brian Higgins, NY-26, recently took to the House of Representatives Floor to raise awareness of the need for a renewed national focus on preventing, treating and caring for those with Alzheimer's disease.

Higgins is scheduled to provide opening remarks at a dementia care symposium for caregivers and health care professionals hosted by the Alzheimer's Association of Western New York on Friday. He will also meet with local Alzheimer's Association delegates in his Washington, D.C., office next week.

"We applaud Congressman Higgins' efforts to highlight the profound need for funding for Alzheimer's disease research, and we are thrilled that he sees the importance of our work to support caregivers and those with dementia by speaking at our conference," said Rachel Rotach, director of advocacy and early stage programming for the Alzheimer's Association, WNY Chapter.

Higgins is a cosponsor Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education for Alzheimer's Act (HOPE Act), a bill providing direct reimbursement for doctor services that diagnose and treat Alzheimer's and other dementia-related diseases, which will soon to re-introduced in the House of Representatives.

Below is the text of Higgins' speech:

"Mr. Speaker, on Friday I will participate in a symposium on dementia being sponsored by the Western New York chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

"This event is a reminder that, while progress has been made in understanding Alzheimer's, there is still a great deal that we must learn about how to treat this terrible illness.

"Alzheimer's is a disease whose origins are unknown, but whose end is absolutely certain. It is a disease that has touched the families of many in this chamber, including my own. According to the Alzheimer's Association, as many as 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, with prevalence expected to increase over the next several decades.

"With so many in Washington mindlessly devoted to the agenda of austerity, we must remember that our budget is not only an accounting statement - but also a statement of our values. I urge a rejection of austerity and an increase in the funding we need for medical research to find a cure for diseases, like Alzheimer's, that devastate so many American families."

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., expected to cost the nation $203 billion this year and increase to $1.2 trillion by 2050.

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