WUFT News

FDA to assist in Alzheimer’s treatment, others still hope for cure

By on February 7th, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal Thursday to assist companies in developing new treatments for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

“The scientific community and the FDA believe that it is critical to identify and study patients with very early Alzheimer’s disease before there is too much irreversible injury to the brain,” said Russell Katz in a press release. He’s the director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “It is in this population that most researchers believe that new drugs have the best chance of providing meaningful benefit to patients.

The irreversible, progressive brain disease, is expected to triple by the year 2050, and local programs are eager to provide more care to slow the numbers down.

Robyn Katz, program manager of Al’z Place, which provides care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or severe memory impairment in Alachua county, said it serves about 22 clients a day and has about 40 people on its waiting list.

“As the baby boomers continue to age, we’ve been noticing an increase in requests to our program,” Katz said.

She’s also seen a spark in younger people diagnosed with the disease – in their 50s and 60s.

Leilani Doty, director of the University of Florida’s Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Cognitive Memory Disorders Clinic, hadn’t heard about the FDA’s proposal yet, but she is optimistic about developing new treatments and is hopeful of a cure.

In the meantime, she believes that living a healthy lifestyle can increase brain activity and improve daily living among those affected by Alzheimer’s.

“A healthy lifestyle can make a significant impact in prolonging the health of the brain, even if someone is destined to get something like Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.

Doty recalled going through old files a few weeks ago and finding an article published in 1992 stating that there would be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease in five years.

“Well it’s 2013 now, and we definitely do not have cure for Alzheimer’s disease. At first when I read that, I became discouraged, but then I thought, since 1992, we have identified so many pieces of information,” she said. “For each small answer that we’ve uncovered, we’ve identified other questions that need to be answered. So we have made progress.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 450,000 people in Florida are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and there are many efforts to help families find resources and information.

“We have a real strong network to help families. What we want, though, is a cure. What we want is a real breakthrough, and that will still take time, but with more research available, hopefully we’ll get to some of those answers more sooner.”


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Law/1104093243 Chris Law

    Godspeed! We must find a cure/treatment soon!

 

More Stories in Health and Science

By leppyone (Nine-banded Armadillo) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Armadillos May Be Cause for Rising Leprosy Rates in Florida

Florida health officials are warning people to stay away from armadillos as they may be the cause of recent leprosy cases in the state. There have been nine cases reported in the last seven months, but none have been reported in Alachua.


Breastfeeding

Florida Hospitals Promote Breastfeeding

Hospitals around Florida are working to create initiatives to help mothers and future mothers with breastfeeding.The Florida Health Department connected with hospitals in 15 counties in June to participate in the Healthiest Weight Florida’s Baby Steps to Baby Friendly Initiative.


Tatum bicycles on the Hawthorne Trail with a group of 30 people from Gator Cycle and Body By Boris. Nicole Aedo / WUFT News

Former Addict Finds Purpose In Biking

Andrew Tatum battled multiple addictions with hard drugs and junk food. Now he finds peace and purpose in biking and blogging about his struggles in order to help others.


Nate Willingham focuses on matching three cards based on color, shape or pattern during his Brain Works session on Friday. This card game is used to improve visual perception.

Brain Training Center Treats Learning Disabilities

Brain Works in Gainesville uses auditory training to treat learning disabilities and brain trauma. It’s helped 13-year-old Nate with his dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, but scientists question how effective the treatment really is.


UF Study Shows Grape Seed Oil Can Reduce Obesity

A new study has found that muscadine grape seed oil can help reduce obesity. Containing a vitamin E derivative, the oil can help prevent the formation of new fat cells.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments