National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease
The first ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) was released in May. The plan has been in development since the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) was signed into law in early 2011.
APA provided detailed written comments on both the initial framework (PDF, 504KB) and the draft plan (PDF, 441KB) with support from the Committee on Aging, Division 40, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology.
The National Plan is responsive to many of the concerns APA raised in its comments:
The Plan explicitly mentions psychologists as a member of the workforce involved in the assessment and care counseling for individuals with AD and their caregivers. It also states that the Department of Health and Human Services will disseminate, evidence-based dementia-specific guidelines including those generated by psychologists.
The Plan also included a strengthened statement on the need for clinical trials on pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and manage and treat its symptoms, including a specific objective on continuing clinical trials on the most promising lifestyle interventions. Thus, it includes a more balanced approach emphasizing behavioral and cognitive research in tandem with research on molecular and cellular mechanisms and genetic epidemiologic research to identify risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s Disease.