Congress needs to make Alzheimer’s a national priority

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As Russ Fuicher replaces Raul Labrador as our representative in the U.S. Congress, I hope he recognizes that Alzheimer’s disease is the most expensive disease in America, and that congressional action to fight it is essential.

This is important to me as I have seen many cases of Alzheimer’s disease as a personal and emergency physician and have seen the burdens family and caregivers have to face. Here in Idaho there are more than 25,000 people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and they are cared for by 83,000 unpaid family caregivers.

In recent years Congress has dramatically increased funding for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health. But Alzheimer’s Association priority bills to provide better care and support for people with dementia advanced but did not pass. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act and the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act must be reintroduced in 2019. Let’s all urge Mr. Fuicher to join Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch in making Alzheimer’s a national priority.

JAMES ARTHURS, M.D.

Sandpoint

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