Top Researchers Believe Prevention is the Future of Alzheimer’s Research

Top Researchers Believe Prevention is the Future of Alzheimer’s Research
The Alzheimer’s disease scientific community is changing its research focus from treatment to prevention, according to researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The shift has been driven by increased insights into the mechanisms of the disease, as well as better tools to study Alzheimer’s-associated brain changes in living people. “In my experience, Alzheimer’s disease is the most feared disease in people over 65,” said David Geldmacher, MD, the director of the Division of Memory Disorders in the Department of Neurology at the UAB. Geldmacher's remarks were made to Bob Shepard of UAB News in an article about the University's research efforts. “And while it’s true that efforts to find a cure for AD [Alzheimer’s disease] have not yet proved successful, much of that fear may be misplaced, since we have learned so much about the disease in the last several decades,” he said. According to Geldmacher, these insights suggest that prevention is a more likely scenario than a cure. One of the developments that has changed Alzheimer’s research is the development of a tool for detection of amyloid-beta buildup in the brain of living humans. Only a decade ago, the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease was by an autopsy after the patient died. Meanwhile, research suggested that amyloid-beta starts aggregating in the brain decades before a person starts developing cognitive symptoms. Now, a brain-imaging method called positron emission tomography (PET) has been ada
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