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Local researchers develop experimental drug that could slow Alzheimer's progression

Posted at: 02/07/2013 5:03 PM
Updated at: 02/07/2013 5:39 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

It's a scary reality. Alzheimer's can affect anyone. Now researchers in Rochester have developed an experimental drug that could dramatically slow the progression of the disease.

Its benefits are very much needed especially after a recent study predicts an alarming amount of cases in the future. According to doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center, there are 26,000 people locally that have alzheimers and the numbers are expected to triple.   

For Dr. Anton Porsteinsson and researchers all over the world, finding a cure to Alzheimer’s disease seems to be more urgent now than ever. “We are actually projecting that there will be explosion in the number of people with Alzheimer's disease over the next 40 years.”

Right now, five-million people have Alzheimer’s through out the country but by the year 2050, new studies show that number will jump to more than 18-million. The main reason: age. Doctors say the longer you live, the bigger the risk.

While researchers struggle to find a cure, they have been looking at other ways to tackle the disease. “Make this a disease that is preventative. Similar to the way we deal with high blood pressure or with diabetes.”

Dr. Porsteinsson has developed an experimental drug right here in Rochester that could dramatically slow the progression of the disease in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s
He says with more research and trials like this, the future looks promising. “There is hope. Like I said, I think we will make significant head way within the next ten years. I actually think it looks pretty promising. There are things you can do right now to help your self.”

Dr. Anton Porsteinsson said some of the things you could do to prevent signs of Alzheimer’s. He says train your brain -- try to learn new things every day. He recommends staying active. Evidence shows physical activity really helps. He also says to watch your numbers -- keep an eye on your blood pressure, cholesterol and your weight also, avoid any head injuries.

Dr. Porsteinsson said one of the biggest issues they face with this new experimental drug is they don't have enough volunteers to test it. This drug is something he says will help generations to come.

If you would like to find out more about the study or if you would like to participate in this experiment, call the U of R at 585-760-6550.