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Legislation would Improve Alzheimer's Research, Increase Supoprt for Patient's Families

June 5, 2008
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-39) today introduced the Cure and Understanding through Research for Alzheimer’s (La CURA) Act of 2008 to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct adequate Alzheimer’s research, outreach, and education. Every 71 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease, and by midcentury, someone will develop this disease every 33 seconds. This is important for all communities throughout the United States, but particularly for Hispanics, who, given long life spans and increasing growth within the American population, are projected to experience a six-fold increase of Alzheimer cases by 2050.

“Every day, Latinos struggle disproportionately with chronic health conditions like Alzheimer’s, and our legislation ensures that Hispanics are provided the support they need and are encouraged to participate in clinical research to promote better care,” said Sen. Menendez (D-NJ). “We have to increase awareness, support and outreach for those confronted with Alzheimer’s disease and for their families so that they are aware and equipped to face this disease.”

"This bill is near and dear to my heart because I have a family member who suffers from Alzheimer’s," Congresswoman Linda Sánchez said. "Alzheimer’s is a heart-breaking disease that affects the entire family. We must do more to support families coping with Alzheimer’s as well as Alzheimer’s patients themselves. That means we need more education and outreach, especially in the Hispanic community where this disease is going to hit especially hard."

La CURA will authorize increased funding to conduct adequate Alzheimer’s research, outreach, and education. The legislation helps expand the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Alzheimer’s education and outreach activities in all communities, including those with cultural concerns about participation in sensitive research like the collection of brain tissue and genetic information. La CURA will address deficiencies in research participation by encouraging increased Hispanic participation in NIH clinical trials and epidemiological studies, promoting identification of culturally competent care, and addressing delays in diagnosis and underutilization of services by Hispanic patients.

This legislation has been endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Council of La Raza, the National Hispanic Council on Aging and the League of United Latin American Citizens.