Earlier this month I joined some of the world's preeminent physicians and neuroscientists in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference (AAIC). The six-day gathering is the largest of its kind and featured more than 100 sessions on a diverse range of Alzheimer's topics. Those sessions represent an incredible amount of new material and research to digest, so I've narrowed down the highlights for those of you who are interested in tracking the latest in Alzheimer's research and drug development:
Joan’s book, from the viewpoint of a caregiver, is an emotionally charged eulogy by a spouse who cared for her husband at home until the end. “Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain that is paid for with the currency of the heart,” she said. “Old age is definitely not for sissies.” She is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), which was co-founded by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder of the Estée Lauder cosmetics family. All book proceeds will support the ADDF’s Canadian arm.
His memory loss became apparent first. Like many people experiencing Alzheimer's in its early stages, my father began misplacing important objects and forgetting the names of people. As the disease progressed, his conversational skills became increasingly impaired, but through all of his changes, our emotional bond remained strong. Eventually, it became impossible for my stepmother to care for him at home and he entered a nursing facility. I knew my father was following a typical Alzheimer's course. After more than 35 years of geriatric medical practice, I have watched this devastating disease unfold in similar ways for thousands of patients. But watching my father's mind deteriorate was uniquely painful.
Researchers at Ohio State University and Emory University are the first to receive funding for their work in Alzheimer's through a collaboration between the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. The teams will each receive $101,000.
A common antidepressant can dramatically halt growth of Alzheimer’s plaque. A team from Missouri and Pennsylvania report today in Science Translational Medicine this reduction occurs in both humans and mice. It gives the drug, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram, a possible future role as a prophylactic—the first in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), if bigger studies are supportive. “I think this is an important paper,” Howard Fillit said in an interview with Bioscience Technology. Fillit is [executive director and] chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. He offered a corollary, however, given that a small February JAMA study, while “exciting,” did find citalopram may cause cognitive problems after AD onset: “The biology of SSRIs is really interesting. But we have cured mice of Alzheimer’s 400 times. I hope this leads to a Phase 2b or 3 study, to look at whether citalopram and other SSRIs can be disease-modifying agents for AD.”
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) has announced it has raised more than $1.1 million for a clinical trial that will test the ability of existing drug rasagiline to treat Alzheimer’s. The funds were raised by an auction at the Eighth Annual Connoisseur’s Dinner. In all, the dinner raised over $3.5 million for drug research related to Alzheimer’s disease. Rasagiline, which is produced by Teva, is currently approved by the FDA to treat Parkinson’s disease. The clinical research will be led by Jeffrey Cummings, who is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada and Cleveland, Ohio
Last Thursday night I went down to Sotheby’s for a black tie dinner benefiting the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. ADDF was created in 1998 by Leonard and Ronald Lauder, sons of Estee. In the past eight years they’ve established a public profile.
The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced today that it raised more than $1.1 million in support of a clinical trial to test an existing drug for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The $1.1 million was generated during the "Fund a Scientist" auction at its Eighth Annual Connoisseur's Dinner and awarded to Jeffrey Cummings, director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nev. and Cleveland, Ohio. Cummings will investigate rasagiline, an FDA-approved treatment for Parkinson's disease with the potential to be the first drug to slow the course of Alzheimer's disease.
Moralioglu, who made his inaugural visit to Washington to show his Fall/Winter 2014 collection at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s annual Great Ladies Luncheon and Fashion Show, also managed to fit in visits to the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the POV at the W Hotel and the National Cathedral. But WL snagged 10 minutes of his time on his last day in the city to chat about where he gets his inspiration for his designs, why he is fascinated by the “codes of femininity,” his ideal woman client and what real-life woman has had the biggest influence on him.
Alzheimer’s disease presents researchers with a number of challenges, from the difficulties in early detection and treatment to the trouble in securing adequate funding for research. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), whose “mission is to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s,” provides seed funding for early-stage research at Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs around the world. We had the pleasure of speaking with Penny Dacks, Assistant Director of Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention at the ADDF, about what the foundation does, the challenges they face and some of the exciting new drug research they’re helping make possible.