KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 7/17/11, 10:30 AM & KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 7/24/11, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Dr. Eric Reiman, executive director, Banner Alzheimer's Institute, chief scientific officer for Banner Research Institute and professor and associate head for research and development, University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Geoffrey L. Ahern, neurologist at UMC, Professor of Neurology, U of A Dept. of Neurology. 

The guests have developed a strategy called the “Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative” in order to overcome the challenges to a world without Alzheimer’s and to find effective prevention therapies as quickly as possible.

Reiman says it is “urgent” due to the increasing numbers of people living long.  He says testing of unproven lifestyle interventions now mHe says brain imaging and other bio-markers can also be used to track early onset AD. He says they are looking for demonstrably effective pre-symptomatic AD treatments.

Ahern says the problem with AD prevention research so far is that it takes too many healthy people and too many years to evaluate preventative treatments.  He says drug companies lose the incentive to pursue a medicine because by the time testing is completed the window of opportunity to secure a patent has closed.  

Reiman says what they are hoping will take place is earlier evaluation of promising prevention therapies in people who due to age and genetic background are at highest risk. He says their findings will be presented to the FDA and to public policy experts to help assess the impact of new therapies.