How We Study Alzheimer's and Potential Treatments


We have two guests today. the first is alan pal quits. He is the senior research professor of medicine and president and ceo of the indiana biosciences research institute. Also joining us is bruce lamb. He is director of stark neuroscience institute. Welcome both of you. Thank you so we usually like to start off by asking people how they got to the position that they're in like how does one become a senior research professor of medicine allen and what is president and ceo of the indiana biosciences research institute. So if you could tell us a bit about what you do and how you got here so thank you very much earned so I think my experience has been somewhat atypical. In terms of coming into academia. I spent twenty eight years at the leeann. Company started off as a bench level. Scientists of medicinal chemist and eventually in my last eleven years woods the vice president discovery chemistry research and technologies where oversaw small molecule drug discovery across all the areas of therapeutic interests that lily so this was a very rich experience and and after being there for quite some time. I had the opportunity to make an early retirement at the end of two thousand seventeen. And i was thinking about my next steps and i had developed long relationship with a not shaker. Who the rhinos. The key leader here at a school of medicine and asked me to come over and help with the position. Health initiative than any perspective that i could provide in and input in you know things kind of transpired in i came over as a professor of medicine and eventually met bruce and you know a lot about our work together here in the past year and really create some great synergies and then as i spent some time that you another opportunity came up in in the community and this lousy indiana bioscience research institute which is an organization that really had a ton of blossomed out of a vision to really create additional note of innovative research and capabilities. That would draw the community together and diorite been around for about five or six years. And now i'm there to really help create additional bridges and create new scientific directions that really elevate The the sciences here in the mid west. And hopefully beyond great and bruce sort of what what has been your experience. How did you get to hear. Thanks a lot erin. So i'm a phd level basic scientist by training. I was at johns hopkins At case western. Reserve university. In cleveland clinic in doing science research into alzheimer's disease actually for my entire career and then I saw this unity to come to indiana in early. Two thousand sixteen to lead out this translational neuroscience research institute Stark neurosciences research institute. And it's a really unique Place that brings together. Clinicians basic scientists translational People now drug discovery as well sort of brings everybody together into one location to really do innovative and interdisciplinary research. So we wanted to talk today about alzheimer's disease. So i'd really like to start by just for our listeners. What is alzheimer's disease. Yeah so alzheimer's. Disease is obviously a brain disease And it was first described. And i think the history is important because it sort of still sort of how we've sort of you. The disease was described by a bavarian neuropathologist us alzheimer in early nineteen hundreds And he had a patient who had dementia sort of loss of memory She had paranoia clinical features that she had and then when she died Being a neuro pathologist he looked in her brain did standard stains at the time and described this unique brain pathology which still even today sort of defines the disease and that was primarily that there were two primary major neuro-pathological hallmarks that he observed in the brain tissue one where these amyloid Sort of the sticky substances which were aggregating in the brain and the other words what we currently today called neurofibrillary tangles which is another Brain pathology and even today it still sort of those two primary brain pathologies that are pathan demonic for alzheimer's disease. However i will say that as we've gotten into the modern age and in our began to understand the complexities reprieve that alzheimer's disease is a is a complex set of probably multiple disorders which are very related to one. Another but actually. There's probably not one set of alzheimer's disease out there. So is it. Is it just sort of like a neuro degenerative. Cognitive decline is we just believe is because of a few specific reasons so there's clearly a lot of neurodegenerative cognitive decline syndromes but alzheimer's is just a group where we think we know where the pathologies right sort of defines. You know one particular type and again. There's there's many different types that this is probably the most common one and it's also very much age related so you really see sort of a doubling after about the age seventy seventy five doubling every five years of of the incident so with sort if the baby boomers reaching the age of sixty five at ten thousand. A day right. Now that's why there's the big increase in number of cases is there a typical course. Does it usually hit a certain age. And last a certain amount of time. It's pretty variable You know there is a sort of a prototypical alzheimer's disease. But if you talked to the clinicians. And i'm not a clinician. But if you talked conditions they say if you've seen one case of alzheimer's disease you've seen one case of alzheimer's disease You know that really. There's so much variation in how how people present their how it progresses within those people So it's it's pretty variable. Obviously the common underlying features certainly memory loss at least at a general level but within that you have other changes sometimes with personality disorders of all variety of other things that can come along with alzheimer's

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