In November, 60 Minutes did a story on Alzheimer’s research that is going on in Columbia. One of the big challenges in trying to find a drug that will prevent Alzheimer’s, or slow down the progression is knowing in advance who will get the disease. The reason they chose Columbia is that back in the 1980’s a young doctor found a family that had a history of early onset Alzheimer’s. Over the years, he along with other researchers ultimately identified 1 gene within this family that, if you had it, you would definitely get early onset Alzheimer’s.
With this information, doctors, researchers, drug companies and the National Institute of Health are able to test drug therapy’s they believe might prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. The difference between these studies and others is that they have a group of people who they know will get the disease with 100% certainty, so if they do not get it, they know the drug was effective.
The study will be going on until about 2021, so it will still be awhile before results are known. The results will move us closer to finding a solution that does work. You can read more about this at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-alzheimers-disease-medellin-colombia-lesley-stahl/