VOICES: We must all play our part to end Alzheimer’s

During August, thousands of global researchers attended sessions at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2022 (AAIC 2022) in San Diego, learning new insights into dementia risk, prevalence, diagnosis, treatment, and the long-term cognitive impact of COVID-19, and more. Alzheimer’s research is happening every minute of every day throughout the world.

My family and I personally understand the devastation of this disease and other dementia.

There are more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 220,000 here in Ohio.

Thankfully, over the last decade, Congress has passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) and the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia and making it a national priority. With these two laws set to expire in 2025, updated legislation is critically needed by people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

I encourage you to learn more and take action by visiting the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org/advocate and joining thousands of other advocates who work to advance the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Entreat your legislators to support these two important acts and other laws that elevate the issue of Alzheimer’s in our state.

To support Alzheimer’s research, consider joining one of the hundreds of clinical trials that search for answers in the area of early detection and treatment of dementia. Clinical trials recruit participants with and without the disease and urgently need participation from diverse populations. Studies are available in person as well as online.

The Alzheimer’s Association is leading two major clinical trials with a strong focus on diverse participation. The New IDEAS Study, which is investigating the impact of a brain amyloid PET scan on clinical care outcomes, is recruiting 2,000 Latinos and 2,000 African Americans out of the projected 7,000 total participants. Also, the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S.POINTER) study is a two-year clinical trial studying the effects of multi-component lifestyle interventions on the risk of cognitive decline in diverse populations in the United States.

Individuals interested in finding out more about clinical trials should go to the Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch®, which is a free matching tool for research studies and treatment trials for Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

Ohio is witnessing many exciting developments in the care of those living with Alzheimer’s, including the first comprehensive statewide Alzheimer’s disease care plan from the Ohio Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Task Force chaired by Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel J. McElroy. The Alzheimer’s Association is also spearheading work with health systems across the state to promote Ohio’s brain health and early diagnosis of dementia.

I encourage you to add your voice to the Alzheimer’s Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Be an advocate. Reach out for help and support. Be a volunteer. Support research and participate in clinical trials. Register for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

We must all play our part to end this disease.

Mike Emoff is the Chief Vision Officer of Boost Engagement, Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter challenge gift donor, former chapter board president, and Walk to End Alzheimer’s participant.