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Alzheimer's specialist says clinical trials important to finding new, better treatments

Apr 13, 2016

A national leader on Alzheimer’s disease says clinical trials are important to finding new and better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. 

Dr. Ronald Petersen was guest speaker recently for UNMC’s annual Denham Harman Lecture in Biomedical Gerontology.

He says when an early diagnosis is made, people are eligible for clinical trials to develop new therapies but that one of the biggest stumbling blocks right now in the field is the lack of participation in clinical trials.

Dr. Petersen says, nevertheless, strides are being made in diagnosis and treatment.

"I think on the clinical side, we can be more confident in our diagnosis. On the treatment side, we’re developing therapies towards Alzheimer’s disease, toward the target proteins that are thought to be central in the disease and there are numerous clinical trials underway right now aimed at those targets.”

He added that remaining physically and mentally active may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent National Institutes of Health report included a statistic that America’s 65-and-over population is projected to nearly double over the next three decades, from 48 million to 88 million by 2050.

That will mean Alzheimer’s and dementia will have an even greater impact on families and the health care system.