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Codifying dementia registry would help prioritize brain health resources in Virginia

Paper craft illustration of brain filled with multi colored geometric shapes. Creative mind
Paper craft illustration of brain filled with multi colored geometric shapes. Creative mind
(Credit: Eugene Mymrin / Getty Images)

A dementia registry project is poised to become codified into Virginia state law, prioritizing brain health and the equitable allocation of resources.

HB 1455 is awaiting the signature of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R)  and would establish the Virginia Memory Project in state law. The project is a partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Department of Health, cataloging dementia cases and other neurodegenerative diseases in the state and informing public policy development. 

The project is one of four statewide dementia registries in the country backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the CDC’s Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Bills recently were introduced in the House and Senate to reauthorize the original 2018 act. 

The registry catalogs disease cases and the number of caregivers in the state. Backers said that the intent of the project is to use the data to help policymakers and public health leaders identify where the disease is most prevalent, determine where to allocate state resources, and inform policymakers who are drafting solutions that could affect individuals living with cognitive impairment, and their caregivers.

LeadingAge Virginia supports the legislation, which will collect data about brain health, memory and caregiving for all adult Virginians.

“Because the information will help policymakers and public health workers prioritize resources for people with memory loss and caregivers across the state, it can support all care settings — not just assisted living,” LeadingAge Virginia President and CEO Melissa Andrews told McKnight’s Senior Living.

To date, the project has identified more than 700,000 cases of dementia across Virginia. Anyone aged 18 or more years can enroll in the project through a confidential online survey.

Read more state news here.

Source: McKnights Seniorliving

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