KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Congressman Tim Burchett was recognized Friday for supporting Tennessee families facing Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association presented Burchett with the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Leader Award. The honor comes after Burchett joined to co-sponsor the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s bill (H.R. 1873) in September 2019. The bill was introduced to Congress in March 2019.
If passed, the bill would increase access to information on care and support people when they’re diagnosed with the illness.
The congressman also is a co-sponsor on the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Act (H.R. 1903), which would allow people under 60 years of age the same access to services that older dementia patients have access to. The bill was introduced to Congress also in March 2019, with Burchett signing on as a co-sponsor in June 2019.
Currently, there are approximately 120,000 Tennesseans facing the disease, along with their families; it’s estimated that around 400,000 Tennesseans are caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Nationally, about 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible neurological disorder and the most common form of dementia. Symptoms may include memory loss, impairment of judgment, disorientation, personality change, difficulty in learning and loss of language skills. Alzheimer’s disease is defined by specific changes in the brain that occur before symptoms appear.
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