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NACDD Provides Opportunity Grants to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

Friday, June 12, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Whitney Pack

NACDD Provides Opportunity Grants to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

Cognitive health can be viewed along a continuum, from optimal functioning to mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease and severe dementia. Although standardized, widely accepted definitions of cognitive health have yet to be adopted, most experts agree that the components of healthy cognitive functioning include language, thought, memory, executive function (the ability to plan and carry out tasks), judgment, attention, perception, remembered skills (such as driving), and the ability to live a purposeful life. The lack of cognitive health can have profound implications for a person's physical health. Older adults and others experiencing cognitive impairment may be unable to care for themselves or to engage in necessary activities of daily living, such as preparing meals or managing their finances. Limitations in the ability to effectively manage medications and existing medical conditions are of particular concern when a person is experiencing cognitive impairment or dementia.

In 2013, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Aging Program developed the second in a series of road maps to advance cognitive health as a vital, integral component of public health. The Healthy Brain Initiative: The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013–2018 (available online at:, outlines how state and local public health agencies and their partners can promote cognitive functioning, address cognitive impairment for individuals living in the community, and help meet the needs of care partners. Specific actions are addressed in four traditional domains of public health: monitor and evaluate, educate and empower the nation, develop policy and mobilize partnerships, and assure a competent workforce. Public health agencies and private, non-profit, and governmental partners at the national, state, and local levels are encouraged to work together on those actions that best fit their missions, needs, interests, and capabilities.

In April of 2015, NACDD awarded funding via a competitive selection process to six states and territories to implement priority action items from the Road Map. These awardees included Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, Oregon, and Puerto Rico. More information about these awardees and their funded projects can be viewed at:

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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
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