Share this episode:
Recruiting volunteers to help study early prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
“Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating disease that affects the cells of the brain, is now regarded as the major form of old age “senility,” said President Ronald Reagan in 1983, as he designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month. “Because there is an association of dementia with aging and because Americans are living longer, the numbers affected by this disease will continue to grow,” he added. A decade later Reagan was diagnosed with the disease and November is still recognized as a month to focus on a condition that affects over 47 million people, worldwide. Dr. Lon Schneider (@) is professor of psychiatry, neurology, and gerontology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He is also the director of the California Alzheimer’s Disease Center and a longtime researcher into the disease for which there is no cure. There has been much progress since Reagan’s time and Dr. Schneider is currently studying ways to halt the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, decades before it begins. In this in-depth interview, he explains how an intervention 10 to 12 years before Alzheimer’s manifests, it may be possible to stop the diseases in its tracks; why an understanding of our genetics could be vital to stave off the disease and how people can volunteer to be part of this long term study.
Show notes and links
1.57: In episode 21, with Dr. Duke Han, we discussed the science behind detecting Alzheimer’s disease, years before symptoms appear.
2.50: Dr. Lon Schneider – biography, publications and awards
4.15: Dr Schneider has spent all of his career at USC, except for a couple of stints at NIH (National Institutes of Health).
8.58: Childhood education is a protective factor against Alzheimer’s disease. Related article: DNA study provides insight into how to live longer
16.10: Keck School of Medicine has joined about 90 institutions in North America, Europe and Australia in the Generation Study, which is testing a vaccine and oral medication to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s in older adults who are at increased risk for developing the disease. Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (@BannerHealth) based in Arizona, is leading the trial with Novartis (@) which is providing the drugs to be tested.
24.50: Generation 1 study participants have to have 2 copies of the APOE4 gene. About 25% of people have 1 APOE4 and 1 APOE3 gene, and 3% have 2 APOE4 genes.
25.13: People can find out about their genotype through 23andme.