Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Reauthorization Act of 2024. This legislation would reauthorize funding for public health initiatives across the country to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health. These initiatives began when the original BOLD Act, authored by this same bipartisan group of four senators, was signed into law in 2018.
“Alzheimer’s disease is one of the greatest and most under-recognized public health threats of our time. Millions of Americans and thousands of Mainers are living with the disease, and that number is soaring as our overall population grows older and lives longer,” said Senator Collins, a founder and Senate co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. “Reauthorization of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will ensure communities across the country have access to resources to promote effective Alzheimer’s interventions and better cognitive health that can lead to improved health outcomes.”
“I passed bipartisan legislation to improve Alzheimer’s care for Nevadans like my grandmother who lost her life to this deadly disease, and it’s time we reauthorize this critical funding,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “My bipartisan BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Reauthorization Act will expand resources for research and treatment, boost support for caregivers, and make sure we can build on the progress we’ve made over the past 5 years. Fighting Alzheimer’s is personal to me, and I’ll keep fighting to improve the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients and support their families.”
“Alzheimer’s impacts thousands of Virginia families, and the BOLD Act has taken major steps to improve prevention, treatment, and care for the disease—but there’s more we can do,” said Senator Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “By reauthorizing and expanding the BOLD Act, this bill will help educate Virginians and health care providers on Alzheimer’s, encourage early-detection, and offer critical support caregivers need.”
“Over the past five years, the BOLD Act has begun its work to create an Alzheimer’s disease public health infrastructure across the country,” Senator Capito said. “By empowering our federal and state public health agencies to play an expanded role in areas such as increasing early detection and supporting dementia caregiving, this legislation is having a direct impact on millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. This remains a very personal priority for me and by reauthorizing the BOLD Act, we can continue this momentum and work to provide hope for those touched by this devastating disease.”
“Because of the BOLD Act, public health professionals are improving brain health across the life course and making an impact in communities throughout the country,” said Robert Egge, AIM president and Alzheimer’s Association chief public policy officer. “The Alzheimer’s Association and AIM are grateful to Sens. Susan Collins, Catherine Cortez Masto, Shelley Moore Capito and Tim Kaine for their leadership in introducing the BOLD Reauthorization Act, which will continue this great progress and strengthen our nation’s dementia public health infrastructure.”
“The objectives of the BOLD Act are directly in line with our mission of promoting prevention, early detection, and treatment of Alzheimer’s while educating the public in the process,” said George Vradenburg, chair and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “Alzheimer’s is not partisan. It touches everyone in some way, regardless of their politics. In fact, eighty-five million Americans have seen Alzheimer’s in their family or with a friend. On behalf of the Alzheimer’s community, I commend these senators for coming together to address one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.”
“Thanks to the BOLD Act, public health departments in Maine are taking action in our communities to improve brain health across the life course,” said Drew Wyman, executive director, Alzheimer's Association Maine Chapter. “Thank you Senator Collins for your leadership in introducing the bipartisan BOLD Reauthorization Act, which will continue this critical work in Maine and throughout the nation, and for your continued dedication to the fight against Alzheimer’s and other dementia.”
Specifically, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act accelerated a multi-pronged public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms, advance care, improve data, and ultimately change the trajectory of this devastating disease. Headed by the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), the reauthorization would authorize $33 million per year, in line with current appropriations, over the next five years to support:
Approximately 6.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and the United States spends more than $345 billion per year, including $222 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Barring any major breakthroughs to prevent, slow down, or cure Alzheimer’s, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to double by 2050, costing the nation more than $1.1 trillion per year.
With Senator Collins’ support, funding for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act has grown from $10 million in fiscal year 2020 to $33 million in fiscal year 2023. In September 2020, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services received one of the first BOLD Program Awards. This investment has allowed for great progress in implementing the Maine State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. In September 2023, Maine received a second BOLD award from the CDC for Alzheimer’s prevention programs, which provides implementation funding to build on its initial investments and allow the state to carry out the Maine Alzheimer’s Prevention Program and the CDC’s Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map.
The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act was first introduced by Senators Collins, Cortez Masto, Capito, and Kaine in 2017. The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Reauthorization Act of 2024 is endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement.
U.S. Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.