Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Searching for A Cure

As the population ages and is increasingly at risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers continue searching for a cause and a cure.

Curcumin, commonly known as the spice Turmeric has been shown to have beneficial effects in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The catch? A person would have to consume pounds and pounds of it a day or take 400 tablets of a supplement daily.
But with the help of a new foundation’s money researchers at The University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University are working together to create new drugs that will slow or cure the disease. And their focus is on the spice.

"Ninety nine point nine nine nine percent gets broken down – its thrown out by the body. So what they’re trying to do is find that 000.1 percent of curcumin that would get to the brain from pounds gets to the brain from taking one little pill. So that’s the whole idea here to make a curcumin derivative that’s stabile in the body but still does the same thing that curcumin does," said Bill Klunk, a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh and Co-Director of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center.

This week they received $400,000 from The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, a local foundation.
Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills. Five million Americans have it. By 2050, 16 million Americans are expected to have the disease.

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