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"Will We Ever Cure Alzheimer's?" - Pam Belluck

  • The New York Times
  • New York, NY
  • (November 19, 2018)

It’s a rare person in America who doesn’t know of someone with Alzheimer’s disease. The most common type of dementia, it afflicts about 44 million people worldwide, including 5.5 million in the United States. Experts predict those numbers could triple by 2050 as the older population increases. So why is there still no effective treatment for it, and no proven way to prevent or delay its effects? Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, noted that so far no drugs have managed even to modestly improve Alzheimer’s patient’s ability to function, which would allow them to remain independent longer. “We need something to affect activities of daily living, like whether they need fewer caregiving hours and that sort of thing,” he said. “Nothing has been so dramatic.” The reason Alzheimer’s research is littered with failed clinical trials lies beyond questions of amyloid and tau. For one thing, researchers have found it difficult to engineer animals with symptoms mimicking human dementia so they can effectively try drugs on them before testing on people.

— Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, The Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health and NFL Neurological Care

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