Summary: A new conference report from the U.S. National Institute on Aging summarizes the presentations, discussions and recommendations of top Alzheimer’s researchers. From my layperson’s point of view, the report shows three reasons why Alzheimer’s research is at a crossroads:
1. We don’t really understand what causes memory loss and dementia.
2. Every brain is different, and multiple factors and diseases may underlie any one person’s memory problems.
3. Overall, research to date has not yielded the hoped-for answers.
Of the many recommendations made to the NIA, the ones involving broadening the concept of Alzheimer’s and collaborating with scientists in other fields make the most sense to me. The NIA meeting and report seem like good first steps towards consensus on which road to take.
Over the weekend, I’ve been reading through an excellent report on a conference on Alzheimer’s convened by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA). The conference took place in October 2006, on the 100th anniversary of Dr. Alzheimer’s discovery of plaques and tangles in the brain of his patient Auguste D.