I am a research scientist. I have studied the neurobiology of memory formation for more than 25 years and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in particular for more than 20. I have had the great privilege of training under and working with several of the world’s leading Alzheimer’s research scientists. My personal mission in life has long been to develop an effective treatment for the disease.
This quest—to develop an FDA-approved drug to treat Alzheimer’s—is a goal shared by numerous highly talented individuals and organizations, and millions of man hours and many billions of dollars have been spent pursuing it.
So what do we have to show for this herculean effort? Regrettably, in the final analysis, nothing! Sophisticated new drugs have been developed, and there have been more than 100 clinical trials, but—sadly—all have failed.
We have, however, learned a powerful lesson: we know now, more clearly than ever, that to effectively combat this disease, we must take action as early as possible. If we wait for symptoms to emerge, we have waited too long.
The good news is we can prevent Alzheimer’s. In animal models, scientists have prevented the disease literally hundreds of different ways. I have personally done so myself (see Figure). And—even better—Alzheimer’s can be prevented not just by risky experimental drugs, but also by life-style changes, including exercise and a healthy diet, as well as by nutritional supplements.
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Speaking of dietary supplements...
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An inevitable question is, have our lifestyle and dietary recommendations been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s in humans? No, they have not. Why? Because to do so would require waiting years—potentially decades—to be validated. Prevention trials of this scale would also be prohibitively expensive (costing many, many billions)—far more than any pharmaceutical company or government is willing to spend. The reality is truly rigorous prevention trials will in all likelihood never be conducted.
Hopefully, this helps explain the rationale behind our motto — Prevent Alzheimer’s Now!™ We refuse to wait to take action. There are—right here and right now—many scientifically validated steps we can take to prevent this horrifying disease.
We also have another, very important mission: raising money for continuing basic research into the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Proceeds from our forthcoming nutritional supplement will help fund research, and we also accept direct donations.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the purpose and vision of the AD Foundation. There are many ways you can help our cause: like us on Facebook; introduce us to a friend; consider making a tax-deductible donation. You can also join us by taking on leadership of a project of your choosing. Together we really can Prevent Alzheimer’s Now!™
Malcolm A. Leissring, Ph.D.