Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rogue researcher offers new hope for sufferers of Alzheimer's disease

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition


Approximately 36 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Although many researchers are of the opinion that the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain is the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease, Claude Wischik, MD, PhD has long backed a minority view regarding its cause. He feels that the condition is due to a protein in the brain called tau. The company he co-founded 10 years ago, TauRx Pharmaceuticals Ltd., has developed an experimental Alzheimer’s medication that it will begin testing in the coming weeks in two large clinical trials.
Dr. Wischik has been studying Alzheimer’s disease for decade. When he was a young PhD student at Cambridge University in the 1980s, he began collecting brains. It was a daunting task because few organ banks kept entire brains. In his search for an Alzheimer’s cure, he needed to examine brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients soon after death. That required obtaining family approvals and enlisting mortuary technicians to extract the brains. In a little over a decade, Dr. Wischik collected more than 300 brains. While collecting his specimens, he embraced a concept that, if he is right, could fundamentally transform Alzheimer’s research and raise new hopes for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

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