MONTREAL, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - January is Alzheimer's Disease
Awareness Month, and the Douglas Institute invites the public to help
advance Alzheimer's disease research.
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for Alzheimer's. We urgently need
innovative solutions to stem the tide of this terrible disease, which
is a personal tragedy and a public health problem that grows
exponentially every year. The key, Douglas researchers say, is to
prevent rather than to treat the disease.
The researchers are now beginning an ambitious series of prevention
studies that will study novel treatments to delay the onset of early
symptoms. "That's the key," says Judes Poirier Ph.D, Associate Director
of the Centre for Studies on Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease at the
Douglas Institute. "Our research is modeled on spectacular successes
reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease. We want to intervene
before any damage is done," states Judes Poirier.
"Through these innovative studies, we are looking for a breakthrough
that goes beyond traditional prevention methods," explains John
Breitner, MD, MPH, Director of the Centre. "Thanks to a new
state-of-the-art laboratory and high-tech medical imaging capabilities,
we can examine the poorly understood properties of several common
medications and measure their preventive action."
The researchers and colleagues are currently recruiting healthy adults
over age 60 who don't themselves have symptoms but who have a parent,
brother or sister with Alzheimer's disease. These people have a much
higher than average risk of developing Alzheimer's over the coming
decades, and the ultimate goal of the prevention program will be to
find treatments that can prevent them - and millions of others like
them - from developing the disease.
In the coming decades, one baby boomer in five risks developing
Alzheimer's. According to the World Alzheimer Report, Alzheimer's disease and its related dementia cost $604 billion
worldwide in 2010. The number of people with the disease is estimated
to double by 2030. If nothing is done, these trends will lead to major
social and economic challenges that will exact a huge toll on our
health care system.
Centre for Studies on Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease (StoP-AD)
In the 1990s, advances in Alzheimer's research at the Douglas made the
Institute a worldwide leading research centre on this and other mental
health issues. The new Centre for Studies on Prevention of Alzheimer's
Disease is working to develop treatments that can stop the progression
of the disease before the onset of symptoms. The work of John Breitner
and Judes Poirier is part of a series of studies being developed at
this Centre, where about twenty scientists are studying the aging
brain. For more information, read here on prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
If you would like to participate in this study and believe you meet the
recruitment criteria, please call
1-855-888-4485 (toll free)
Available for interviews:
Coming to the Douglas from the Johns Hopkins University and the
University of Washington in Seattle, John Breitner is a geriatric psychiatrist recognized for his epidemiological research
on Alzheimer's disease. He was invited to set up a research centre at
the Douglas to help focus future international research efforts on
Alzheimer's disease. This study is just the beginning for Dr. Breitner,
who is already thinking about larger-scale projects in the future that
will require investment of millions of dollars in funding.
Judes Poirier is the Associate Director of the Centre for Studies on Prevention of
Alzheimer's Disease. Internationally recognized for his scientific
research, he is regularly consulted by various governments and played a
major role in creating the Centre. In 1993, Judes Poirier and his team
identified the ApoE4 gene as the most important risk factor for
Alzheimer's disease. This discovery, which was a breakthrough in
genetics at the time, continues to help scientists advance knowledge in
the fight against Alzheimer's.
SOURCE DOUGLAS MENTAL HEALTH UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE
For further information:
Kevin Bilodeau, Communications and Public Affairs
Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Phone: 514-761-6131, extension 3674
About the Douglas - www.douglas.qc.ca