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A new dementia registry project in Virginia is on the verge of becoming law, with HB 1455 currently awaiting Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s signature to establish the Virginia Memory Project in state law. This project, a collaboration between Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Department of Health, aims to collect data on dementia cases and other neurodegenerative diseases in the state to inform public policy.

The Virginia Memory Project is one of four statewide dementia registries in the country supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the CDC’s Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Recent bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to reauthorize the original 2018 act. The registry collects data on disease cases and caregivers in the state, with the goal of providing policymakers and public health leaders with information about the prevalence of dementia, resource allocation, and policy solutions for individuals living with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.

LeadingAge Virginia has expressed support for this legislation, emphasizing the importance of collecting data related to brain health, memory, and caregiving for all adult Virginians. Melissa Andrews, President and CEO of LeadingAge Virginia stated that “The information gathered through this project will help us prioritize resources for individuals with memory loss and caregivers throughout our state.” Currently, over 700,000 cases of dementia have been identified across Virginia through this initiative. Individuals aged 18 years old can participate in this program by completing a confidential online survey. This project will provide valuable data to support well-being of individuals with cognitive impairments and their caregivers in our state.

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