tv Alzheimers Disease - Part 1 CSPAN June 20, 2018 3:33am-3:49am EDT
the senate special aging committee held a hearing on the state of human and economic toll of the disease. witnesses included officials from federal and state agencies and family care givers including marcia gay-harden who shared personal experiences of her mother who was diagnosed with the disease. the entire hearing is an hour and 45 minutes.
the committee will come to order. good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to all the applicants and families from all across america. we're absolutely delighted to have you here. i want to explain a little bit why i'm the only one starting the hearing right now. as luck would have it, unfortunately, two roll-call votes have just been scheduled, and one has just started. so in all of my time in the senate in 21 years, i have never missed a roll-call vote. and most of my colleagues are over voting right now, but i'm going to start the hearing, give my opening statement, then we'll do a recess so that i can
go vote. and then when we come back, senator casey, the ranking member, will give his statement. but i apologize for this interrupted approach to the hearing. you never know when votes are going to be scheduled. 100 years ago, infectious diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosi accounted for almost half of all deaths. today, because of advances in public health, we can treat and prevent what once were among the most deadly diseases in our country. public health saves lives, and it's proven over the past century to extend lives as well. since 1900, public health has added nearly three decades to
our lifespans. the leading causes of death are now chronic diseases, including cancer, respiratory diseases, and stroke. alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in our nation. while we may all be familiar with the role of public health in protecting against communicable diseases, advances in public health are beginning to change the story for chronic diseases as well. for breast cancer, for example, early detection and screening save lives. the earlier the cancer is caught, the better the prognosis. we are here today to explore how we can tap into public health to rewrite the future of alzheimer's disease, just as we
have done for so many other diseases of the past. an estimated 5.7 million americans are living with alzheimer's, costing our nation $277 billion a year. including $186 billion in costs to the medicare and medicaid programs. if we continue along this trajectory, alzheimer's is projected to claim the minds of nearly 14 million seniors and surpass $1 trillion in costs by the year 2050. last year when the sea of purple last gathered, we explored the arc of alzheimer's from preventing cognitive decline to improving care for those living with dementia. we learned that there are some
modifiable risk factors that may be able to slow the progression of this devastating disease. we saw that there are models of care that can reduce co- morbidities, prevent hospitalization, and improve life for those living with alzheimer's and for their caregivers. essentially, we sowed the seeds of a public health approach. today, with the start of summer in sight, we are here for the harvest. the bold alzheimer's act, which i co-authored with senator cortez-mastow would create the infrastructure we need to combat alzheimer's and preserve brain health. dedicated to promoting
alzheimer's disease management and care giving interventions as well as educating the public on this disease and brain health in general. the centers for disease control and prevention are already doing tremendous work to combat alzheimer's within the public health road map of the healthy brain initiative. the centers of excellence created by our bill would implement this cdc road map. bold would spread the opportunity for communities across america to create the capacity to combat alzheimer's. our legislation would help public health departments take key steps, including education, early diagnosis, risk reduction, care management, and caregiver support. early diagnosis can make a real
difference. earlier detection of symptoms would provide individuals and families with the opportunity to prepare by planning their finances and to find help in navigating the challenges of dementia. early diagnosis also saves money. a new study following everyone alive this year shows that diagnosing alzheimer's sooner would yield an estimated total savings of $7 trillion in medical and long-term care expenditures. just as we screen for cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, appropriate screening for alzheimer's is the first step to improving treatment. finally, at the heart of public health are data. bold would direct the cdc to
expand its data collection of cognitive decline, caregiving, and health disparities. today, the bold act has 35 co- sponsors. but i know by the time the members of this audience are finished with all their hill visits, we will be up to 50. the challenge i gave you last night. or better yet, 60. the number that assures senate passing. i am proud of the actions that the state of maine is taking to promote early detection and improve data collection. the maine centers for disease control and prevention has distributed the state plan for
alzheimer's, including a special insert with cognitive assessment tools to help primary care professionals make early diagnosis. maine cdc has collected data through the cognitive decline and caregiver modules in its surveillance system. in bangore, maine, the public health department has distributed of hundreds of know the 10 signs brochure. the public health nurses are hosting talks on alzheimer's to connect people with resources. it's important that we all note that alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging. it is a disease. it is a public health issue with a course that potentially we can change. we have taken steps to increase
funding enormously from $414 million when i first started working on this issue in 1999, to nearly $2 billion a day. and that is making a difference. there are other steps that we can take to help prevent the risk of cognitive ine and to improve the lives of both living with the disease and their caregivers. this public health approach is not only empowering, it is the key to saving lives. public health has proven its power with infectious diseases. with common public health measures, we are now able to control and prevent infectious diseases better than ever before. in the time that we are here today, more than 100 americans will be newly diagnosed with dementia.
each and every one has a story, a life rich with memories, and a future left to finish. while some of those precious memories may vanish due to alzheimer's, we are here to boldly hold out hope for a better future. i really appreciate all of your coming to washington. many of you will recognize this suit who have been here before. yes, i bought it some 15 years ago, and i swore that i would not retire it until we had better treatments or a cure for alzheimer's. it's woefully out of style, and i'm really sick of it. so let's get on with the job.
thank you. i'm now delighted to turn to our ranking member, senator casey, for his opening statement. and i'm going to go vote. >> chairman collins, thank you so much. how do i top that? >> you have a purple tie now. >> i'm getting close. this tie was just dry cleaned yesterday. but at lunch, i got a spot on it, so i'll put that on camera. i want to thank chairman collins for her leadership on this issue and making sure we had this hearing today and for all of you being here. of course, our witnesses who are providing testimony to us today. we want to thank the advocates as well who have traveled very great distances to be here. i know many from pennsylvania but virtually every state represented across our country. the experience of living with alzheimer's or related dementia
or caring for someone with the disease is unfortunately all too common. it's a disease that affects all communities, and it doesn't matter where you're from or how much money you earn. it affects so many americans. in our state alone, the state of pennsylvania, an estimated 280,000 people ages 65 and over are currently living with alzheimer's. and, as we'll hear from secretary osborne from pennsylvania, that number may not tell the entire story. there may be over 100,000 more people living with related conditions in our state and hundreds of thousands more loved ones, friends, and neighbors who are doing their best to care for them. as our population ages, these numbers will only grow, which is why we must take action now. last year, i was pleased to join chairman collins in
support of increased funding for research into finding a cure for alzheimer's disease. the federal funding was increased by an additional $414 millionening bringing our annual federal research investment to $1.8 billion. that's a big step. but as evidenced by the number of people in this room, it is not enough. so i'm continuing to press for additional research dollars, as i know folks in both parties are. we need to ensure our communities and our health systems are able to meet the needs of those living with alzheimer's and their caregivers. we need to improve our ability to diagnose the disease early so we can slow its progression. we need to make sure individuals and families don't just get a diagnosis but also get the support they need to deal with the disease. we need to make sure that no communities are left out of these efforts. that's why i'm co-sponsoring
cure. i want to thank chairman collins again and also our witnesses. we look forward to the testimony today. i know that chairman collins indicated there would be a recess and i was able to give my opening. we will shortly be on the second vote and we will recess now and resume when the chairman returns. thank you.