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Hope on the Horizon for Alzheimer's Patients
TAMPA, Fla., Nov.
18, 2010 /PRNewswire/
-- Currently, there are only five medicines
approved for Alzheimer's. While these
medicines temporarily reduce the symptoms
for some patients, biopharmaceutical
companies are working to develop new
medicines to prevent, delay or cure
Now, America's biopharmaceutical research
companies highlighted the 98 new medicines
in the pipeline for Alzheimer's disease and
other dementias, either in clinical trials
or awaiting FDA review.
Researchers, patients, caregivers, advocacy
groups and students gathered at the University
of South Florida Health
Byrd Alzheimer's Institute to discuss the
newest advances in Alzheimer's research and
to take a look into the future of this
"The American biomedical enterprise is
making progress in the treatment of
Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. David
Morgan, CEO of the Institute.
"The richness of the public-private
partnerships between universities, research
institutes, biotechnology companies and
major biopharmaceutical companies is the
envy of the world."
Research facilities, like the USF Health
Byrd Alzheimer's Institute are making
breakthroughs with this devastating disease.
These advances have expedited the
understanding of the causes of Alzheimer's.
New imaging technologies, such as positron
emission tomography (PET) scans, provide
scientists a glimpse into the brain,
overcoming the prior inability to access
brain tissue. PET scans and other biomarkers
are revealing the earliest signs of
Alzheimer's even before symptoms appear.
The Honorable Johnnie Byrd, Jr., founder and
board member of the Institute highlights the
importance of the research conducted at the
Institute and the economic impact of the
"As of 2010, the estimated total cost of
caring for Alzheimer's patients is $172
billion, including Medicare, private
insurance, out-of-pocket costs and
uncompensated care. Families drain their
life savings and lose their homes paying for
care," stated Mr. Byrd.
Today, more than five million Americans are
living with dementia, and one in 40
Floridians has dementia. Alzheimer's
disease, the most common form of dementia,
has become the seventh leading cause of
death in America, and is the only cause of
death that is moving up in the rankings.
Alzheimer's is a disease of aging, with
typical onset in the late 70s and 80s. The
number of Americans living with Alzheimer's
is expected to increase as the baby boomers
age, and people live longer due to advances
in treating infections, heart disease and
It is estimated that 10 million baby boomers
will die of this disease without a treatment
that slows or prevents Alzheimer's.
For more information on USF Health's Byrd
Alzheimer's Institute, visit http://health.usf.edu/nocms/byrd.