Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alzheimer's: "We have a tsunami coming at us, and we're sitting in a rowboat"

"We have a tsunami coming at us, and we're sitting in a rowboat," says neurologist Richard Mayeux of New York's Columbia University, speaking to The Washington Post's Aaron James about Alzheimer's Disease.

Researchers seem to be making progress toward identifying "biomarkers" for AD, which is helpful, but at the same time, scientists are a long way off from even beginning to find a cure: 

"Creating knowledge is a long way from making drugs," acknowledges [Howard] Fillit of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, which invests in start-up biotech firms, existing companies and academic research . . . The only way out of this conundrum is to find new drugs." . .  .

In a report last year, the Alzheimer's Study Group, a panel co-chaired by former House speaker Newt Gingrich and former senator Bob Kerrey, warned that the Alzheimer's epidemic will progress like the disease itself: slowly. But if we ignore it, the group said, it could have the same disastrous consequences as ignoring the levees in New Orleans or looking the other way as subprime loans subverted the financial system.

Tsunamis rushing, levees breaking, bubbles bursting.   Choose your analogy for the coming AD epidemic: They are all apt.   

No comments:

Post a Comment