Establishing a dementia registry could aid in directing brain health resources in Virginia

Virginia’s New Dementia Registry Project: Gathering Valuable Data for Brain Health and Fair Distribution of Resources

A new dementia registry project in Virginia is set to become law, with a focus on brain health and fair distribution of resources. The Virginia Memory Project, a collaboration between Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Department of Health, is awaiting Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) signature to become state law. This project aims to document cases of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases in the state, helping in the development of public policies that benefit all adults in Virginia.

The initiative is one of four dementia registries in the country supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Bills have been introduced in Congress to reauthorize the original act passed in 2018. The registry tracks disease cases and the number of caregivers in Virginia, providing valuable data for policymakers and public health leaders to identify areas with high prevalence of dementia, allocate resources, and develop effective solutions for individuals with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.

LeadingAge Virginia supports this legislation as it will gather information about brain health, memory, and caregiving for all adults in Virginia, not limited to those in assisted living facilities. The project has already identified over 700,000 cases of dementia in Virginia and is open for enrollment to anyone aged 18 and above through a confidential online survey. This data will help support the prioritization of resources for people with memory loss and caregivers across the state, benefiting all settings of care.

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