Quick Takes

Kentucky House approves bill aimed at increasing Alzheimer’s awareness

By: - February 21, 2023 4:08 pm

Rep. Raymer speaks on the floor on HB125. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Sarah Ladd)

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky House unanimously passed a bill aimed at spreading awareness about Alzheimer’s disease on Tuesday. 

The bipartisan House Bill 125 would require the Kentucky Department of Public Health to include information about Alzheimer’s in regularly published materials in health departments around the state and online. 

The goal, the bill states, is to aid understanding and awareness of:  

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, including links to chronic conditions such as vascular disease, diabetes and smoking.
  • Early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias that should be discussed with health-care professionals.
  • Steps  to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, particularly among persons in communities who are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

“We’ve likely all known someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Rep. Rebecca Raymer, R-Morgantown. “It’s a cruel disease that robs an individual of their memories and many times, their personality.” 

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The disease is characterized by memory loss and affects millions nationwide.

Raymer, the primary sponsor, said on the floor that the “simple and straightforward” Alzheimer’s awareness bill would result in better health outcomes for the commonwealth. 

“With Kentucky’s high rates of diabetes, heart disease, asthma, COPD and obesity, Kentuckians are managing multiple chronic conditions at rates higher than the national average,” said Raymer. “And having just one of those underlying chronic conditions increases the risk of developing cognitive decline.” 

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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.

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