Bill Text: NJ SCR164 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Urges Commissioner of Health to declare Alzheimer's disease public health crisis.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-06-13 - Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee [SCR164 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-SCR164-Introduced.html

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 164

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 13, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Senator  FRED H. MADDEN, JR.

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges Commissioner of Health to declare Alzheimer's disease public health crisis.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


A Concurrent Resolution urging the Commissioner of Health to declare Alzheimer's disease a public health crisis.

 

Whereas, Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disease of unknown cause that is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer's disease usually occurs in people age 65 and older, although early-onset Alzheimer's disease can occur as well.  The condition results in progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, and changes in personality and mood, and in advanced cases leads to a profound decline in cognitive and physical functioning.  Alzheimer's disease is marked histologically by the degeneration of brain neurons, especially in the cerebral cortex, and by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques containing beta-amyloid; and

Whereas, Alzheimer's disease, which currently has no cure, is the sixth leading cause of death in adults age 18 or older in the United States and in New Jersey; and

Whereas, Although the onset of Alzheimer's disease cannot yet be stopped or reversed, early detection and diagnosis allows people with dementia and their families not only a better chance of receiving and benefiting from treatment, care, and support services, but also more time to put legal, financial, and advance directives in place for the future; and

Whereas, Although Alzheimer's disease has been traditionally seen as an aging issue, Alzheimer's is also a public health issue, because the burden to society is large, the impact is major, and there are ways to intervene throughout the lifespan; and

Whereas, With no currently definitive interventions to prevent Alzheimer's disease, essential public health services of early detection, risk reduction, and surveillance are necessary to protect and improve the health at a population level, as called for in The Healthy Brain Initiative's "State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map" developed by the Alzheimer's Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and

Whereas, In conjunction with the CDC, the New Jersey Department of Health annually conducts the New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (NJBRFS) to gather statewide public health data; and

Whereas, In the 2016 NJBRFS, over nine percent of New Jersey residents aged 45 and older reported an increase in confusion or worsening memory loss, and about half of them had not discussed these cognitive concerns with a health care provider; and

Whereas, Caregiving for individuals with Alzheimer's disease often takes an enormous toll on family members, and therefore creating opportunities to reduce caregivers' stress, depression, injuries, and additional health problems is important; and

Whereas, It is the intent of the Legislature to increase awareness of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, address cognitive impairment, promote brain health, and meet the needs of caregivers; and

Whereas, The Legislature recognizes the important responsibility the Department of Health has in promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors among the general public, increasing early detection and diagnosis of disease and disability, reducing risk of future illness and injury, educating the health care workforce, and monitoring public health in the State; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    The Commissioner of Health is respectfully urged to declare Alzheimer's disease a public health crisis.

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Commissioner of Health.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges the Commissioner of Health to declare Alzheimer's disease a public health crisis.

     Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disease of unknown cause that is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer's disease usually occurs in people age 65 and older, although early-onset Alzheimer's disease can occur as well.  The condition results in progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, and changes in personality and mood, and in advanced cases leads to a profound decline in cognitive and physical functioning.  Alzheimer's disease currently has no cure, and is the sixth leading cause of death in adults age 18 or older in the United States and in New Jersey.

     Although Alzheimer's disease has been traditionally seen as an aging issue, Alzheimer's is also a public health issue, because the burden to society is large, the impact is major, and there are ways to intervene throughout the lifespan.  With no currently definitive interventions to prevent Alzheimer's disease, essential public health services of early detection, risk reduction, and surveillance are necessary to protect and improve the health at a population level, as called for in The Healthy Brain Initiative's "State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map" developed by the Alzheimer's Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

     In conjunction with the CDC, the New Jersey Department of Health annually conducts the New Jersey Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (NJBRFS) to gather statewide public health data; in the 2016 NJBRFS, over nine percent of New Jersey residents aged 45 and older reported an increase in confusion or worsening memory loss, and about half of them had not discussed these cognitive concerns with a health care provider.

     Caregiving for individuals with Alzheimer's disease often takes an enormous toll on family members, and therefore creating opportunities to reduce caregivers' stress, depression, injuries, and additional health problems is important.

     In calling for a declaration of a public health crisis, the Legislature recognizes the important responsibility the Department of Health has in promoting and encouraging healthy behaviors among the general public, increasing early detection and diagnosis of disease and disability, reducing risk of future illness and injury, educating the health care workforce, and monitoring public health in the State.

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