8 November 2011. The National Alzheimer’s Prevention Act (NAPA) mandated formation of an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services to guide the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as it formulates a national strategic plan to tackle Alzheimer’s disease. Last August, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius announced the 12 non-federal members of the 22-member Council (see ARF related conference story). They include George Vradenburg and Eric Hall, co-conveners of Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD), a network of organizations that lobbies for increased research funding for the disease, among other causes. On 3 November, LEAD announced their recommendations for the Advisory Council, called “The Path Ahead: A Framework for a Transformative National Plan to Defeat Alzheimer’s Disease.”
In compiling the report, LEAD established four workgroups. These focused on research, clinical care, long-term care support and services, and drug discovery and development. From these, LEAD lists five strategies that it hopes will “stop” Alzheimer’s disease in this decade, including tripling research funding through the NIH, implementing proven models of care, supporting training for caregivers, creating incentives for the development of new therapies, and extending market exclusivity to support long-term prevention trials and investing in small business that will develop therapies that can reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending on AD.
LEAD's recommendations, coauthored by 52 experts from academia, industry, healthcare, and advocacy, are freely available for download. Meanwhile, on 8 November, the Alzheimer’s Association issued its own separate report to help advise the process of implementing NAPA.—Tom Fagan.