New Massachusetts law aims to improve Alzheimer’s treatment

Massachusetts

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new Massachusetts law is looking to make improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Alzheimer’s has quickly become one of the bigger health problems in the United States. More than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease and the numbers are continuing to grow.

The initiative was approved and signed by Gov. Baker earlier this week. The law require’s doctors, physician’s assistants and nurses to receive training on the diagnosis, treatment, and care for people with Alzheimer’s.

“It’ll be helpful for providers who are not specialists, primary care providers to learn about the condition,” Dr. Stuart Anfang siad. “I think it’s going to be make discussion about this condition more widely available and probably will encourage patients to seek further evaluation.”

More than 130,00 people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease in Massachusetts. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2018 Massachusetts will spend more than 1.6 billion dollars in Medicaid costs caring for people with Alzheimer’s.

Some early signs of Alzheimer’s include problems with speaking or writing and decreased and poor judgment. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the ten signs you should look out for are:

  • memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • challenges in planning or solving problems
  • difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or at leisure
  • confusion with time or place
  • trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • new problems with words in speaking or writing
  • misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • decreased or poor judgment 
  • withdrawal from work or social activities
  • changes in mood and personality

Read more: Baker signs law strengthening Alzheimer’s and Dementia treatment

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