Public health workers can help address cognitive health and impairment over the next five years by launching state and local treatment plans and supporting efforts to improve care providers’ abilities to recognize dementia, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Those suggestions are among 30 action steps contained in The Healthy Brain Initiative: The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013-2018, released by the federal agency and the health organization at the association’s 2013 International Conference in Boston. The report is a follow up to the 2007 The Healthy Brain Initiative: A National Public Health Road Map to Maintaining Cognitive Health.
More than 280 experts in the field contributed to the recent effort, which outlines actions that state and local public health officials can take to promote cognitive functioning, address cognitive impairment at the community level and help meet the needs of caregivers.
"The goal of the Healthy Brain Initiative is to enhance understanding of the public health burden of cognitive impairment, help build evidence-based communications and programs, and translate that foundation into effective public health practices in states and communities,” said Lynda Anderson, PhD, director of the Healthy Aging Program at the CDC. “This Road Map provides guidance to states, communities and national partners to plan for and respond to this major public health issue."
For a look at the progress of dementia research over the past 25 years, see this timeline created by the Alzheimer’s Association.