With more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's today, and the number projected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050, it is imperative that as a nation we look for ways to change the trajectory of this disease. A growing scientific consensus has concluded that healthy living—regular physical activity, attention to heart health, and preventing head injuries—can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. And this summer new research was released with more encouraging findings about risk reduction.
The federally-funded SPRINT-MIND study found for the first time, aggressive lowering of systolic blood pressure has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the combined risk of MCI and dementia, providing conclusive evidence that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of MCI and dementia. This is the first randomized clinical trial to demonstrate a reduction in new cases of MCI alone and the combined risk of MCI and dementia.
These results are yet another reason why Congress must pass the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256). A policy priority of AIM and the Alzheimer's Association, the bipartisan legislation would create an Alzheimer's public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer's interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection, preventing avoidable hospitalizations, and reducing risk.
Thankfully, a large swath of Congress agrees and the bill has received tremendous bipartisan support. Exceedingly rare in today's political climate, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act has 178 cosponsors in the House and 50 in the Senate, with a nearly even republican to democrat split. This level of support is due in large part to the work of our advocates and to champions in Congress who have stepped up to lead on Alzheimer's.
But as November nears and members are focused on re-election it is important now more than ever that we encourage Congress to step up and take action in the fight to end Alzheimer's. Please join AIM and the Alzheimer's Association in continuing to grow support for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act. We need your voice. Contact your representatives today to thank the current cosponsors and encourage others to sign on. And continue the conversation across social platforms using #BOLDAlzheimersAct during our Virtual Lobby Day on September 5 and beyond.