WSJ: How Much of an Impact Will the Federal Alzheimer’s Plan Have?

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Department of Health and Human Services unveiled the first draft of a national action plan to combat Alzheimer’s disease, but the Wall Street Journal wonders if obstacles such as funding and lack of coordination might become a roadblock to the plan’s success.

The Draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease includes goals of improving care, expanding support for caregivers, and heightening public awareness, along with strategies to discover better methods of researching the disease, training healthcare professionals, and coordinating collaboration between private and public stakeholders, says WSJ.

However the devil is in the details—and how they play out, some experts say.

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“For me, it’s about implementation,” Eric Hall, a plan advisory council member and chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, an advocacy group, tells the Health Blog.

One major obstacle is funding. Earlier this month, the administration announced $80 million in new funding for Alzheimer’s research in fiscal year 2013, but how much additional money is needed to carry out the plan remains to be seen.

It could also be tough to minimize redundancy among other health agencies working toward the same goals, the article says.

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The National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, released its 2010 Progress Report on Alzheimer’s Disease, which summarizes recent Alzheimer’s research, on the heels of the first draft’s unveiling.

Read the full Wall Street Journal piece here, and check out the draft of the plan.

Written by Alyssa Gerace