What Is the Status of Alzheimer's Disease Research?

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We don't have enough people working on Alzheimer's disease especially bright young people, it's under-served area of scientific research and that's partly because it's an under funded area of scientific research. It's also difficult, I mean to be fair it's hard to do this kind of work, but we do have a much better sense than we used to of what causes the disease, the biochemical processes or pathways involved, and there are some really exciting new developments about the way the disease itself is manifested.

So the brain is a very large and complex organ, but it turns out Alzheimer's disease is focal. It starts at only couple of places in the brain and then starts to spread, and it's now fairly clear that whatever the toxic species is that's killing off your brain cells, is actually spreading from cell to cell.

Now that sounds ominous but in fact it's actually very exciting, because if it's spreading from cell to cell at some point it's outside the cell, and if it's outside the cell its vulnerable. And so there's a lot of interest now in either blocking its spread which if you could do then you could confine the disease to very small focal regions, or in attacking the toxic species one is out the open where it's vulnerable.