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Joint Finance Committee Passes New Dementia Funding

Five Bills Would Pay For Better Training And Care, Some Research

By
Hands
Mike Fischer (CC-BY-NC-SA)

The Legislature’s budget committee has signed off on five bills to help people cope with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The bills would lay out $50,000 to purchase licenses for a virtual dementia tour, a program that simulates dementia; $50,000 in additional funding annually for Alzheimer’s research at UW-Madison; $1 million in additional money annually for the state’s Alzheimer’s family and caregiver support program; $465,000 in ongoing funding to support four more dementia care specialists spread across counties with fewer than 150,000 people and a state specialist trainer; and an additional $250,000 in fiscal year 2016-17 for state grants for training county and regional crisis teams on providing help to dementia sufferers.

State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, spoke in favor of the UW research measure. She referenced a recent study by researchers at the center, published in the journal “Brain,” which suggests a possible biochemical approach to treating the disease.

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“Maybe we could be the state that finds the cure,” Taylor said.

The bills may soon go before the full Legislature.

Editor’s note: This story, including the headline, has been updated to reflect passage of the bills.

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