Establishing a dementia registry could improve allocation of brain health resources in Virginia

A dementia registry project in Virginia is on the verge of being codified into state law, with HB 1455 currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to establish the Virginia Memory Project in state law. This project, a collaboration between Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Department of Health, is focused on cataloging dementia cases and other neurodegenerative diseases in the state to inform the development of public policy.

The Virginia Memory Project is one of four statewide dementia registries in the country supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the CDC’s Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Recent bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to reauthorize the original 2018 act. The registry collects data on disease cases and the number of caregivers in the state, with the goal of providing policymakers and public health leaders with information about the prevalence of the disease, resource allocation, and policy solutions for individuals living with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.

LeadingAge Virginia has expressed support for this legislation, emphasizing that collecting data related to brain health, memory, and caregiving is essential for all adult Virginians. Melissa Andrews, President and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia, stated that “The information gathered through this project will help prioritize resources for individuals with memory loss and caregivers throughout the state.” She added that “This initiative aims to provide valuable data to support

By Aiden Johnson

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