Category Archives: alzheimers

Neurodegenerative Disease Treatment

medtechthursday
Guest Post by: 
Mike Schmitt, MD
Life Science Analyst and Editor of the Florida BioDatabase
Mike can be reached at [email protected]
 
On Wednesday, September 10th, I had the opportunity to attend the Foley Lardner Leadership Education Series in Orlando. It was held in the law firm’s board room on the 18th floor of the Regions Bank building with breathtaking views of downtown—it was nice to see first hand the amazing economic development taking place in the metro Orlando area.
The conference was an update on treatments for neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc) presented by Stuart Lipton, MD., PhD, who is the Director of the Burnham Institute’s Center for Neuroscience Research in La Jolla, California. 
Dr. Lipton presented some cutting-edge data on how a drug that he has already developed (Memantine) may be useful for not only treating existing Alzheimer’s disease, but for preventing it in high-risk individuals. The drug is FDA approved (has relatively minimal side effects) and is currently on the market. Dr. Lipton is hoping it gains wider usage among the neurology community to benefit Alzheimer’s patients.
Dr. Lipton indicated that if left unstopped, dementia-related diseases will consume over half of the US GNP by 2050. I think this reflects on not only our aging population, but on the ever-increasing costs of health care as well (good topic for another post).
I’ll remind folks that Dan mentioned the upcoming Alzheimer’s Memory Walk event in his blog on August 7th—be sure to take a look at the link as this is an awesome event to raise awareness of this disabling illness. In fact, the Gainesville “Walk” will be taking place on 10/4, Jacksonville on 9/20, and Orlando on 10/11.
On another note of importance to Florida life sciences—Ed Baxa, partner and member of Foley’s Management Committee, and chair of the firm’s National Pro Bono Committee announced that the firm will be contributing pro bono legal services (IP, regulatory, health law, etc.) relating to the development of therapies in the “orphan drug” space. The term “orphan drug” refers to a product that treats a rare disease affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans. Pharma companies are often reluctant to take on these illnesses as they perceive the potential market as being too small to justify R&D costs.
These services will be offered primarily to Burnham, university programs, and other non-profit 501(c)(3)’s. Thanks goes out to Foley Lardner’s commitment to being involved in our biomedical community on a research level as well as for patient care. 

Alzheimer’s Memory Walk: Coming to a Town Near You

For those of you in Gainesville and Ocala, FL, what are you and your family doing Saturday morning, October 4 (note: Gators are in Arkansas)? What about my readers in Jacksonville (9/20) and Orlando (10/11)? How about a short walk, just 1-3 miles, for a good cause: The Alzheimer’s Memory Walk.

Before I share more, go ahead and stick a placeholder on your calendar for those dates/locations, or check the walk dates near your ZIP below. I’ll wait…


Find a walk

By ZIP:

Search by state or by chapter

OK, now that you’ve saved the date I can share some more. The Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk is the largest event in the nation dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s — expecting over 200,000 participants this year alone.

One of the ways they get so much participation is because of their “team” concept; whereby a team captain invites a few friends, who invite a few friends. They are looking for all participants, but especially team captains. I’m focused on getting family involved. You can learn about all the options to help by clicking “Learn how” below — they even have “virtual” teams, for anyone who can’t find a Walk nearby.

Over 5 million people have Alzheimer’s and most of us already know someone who has it. If you don’t, I’ve done some research of my own (via About) — you might know some of these:

Joe Adcock, baseball player
Mabel Albertson, actor
Dana Andrews, actor
Rudolph Bing, opera impresario
James Brooks, artist
Charles Bronson actor, film director
Abe Burrows,author
Carroll Campbell, Former Rebublican Senator
Joyce Chen, chef
Perry Como, Singer entertainer
Aaron Copland, composer
Willem DeKooning, artist
James Doohan, actor
Thomas Dorsey, singer
Tom Fears, professional football player and coach
Louis Feraud, fashion designer
Arlene Francis, actor
Mike Frankovich, film producer
John Douglas French, physician
Barry Goldwater, Senator of Arizona
Rita Hayworth, actress
Raul Silva Henriquez, Roman Catholic cardinal, human rights advocate
Charlton Heston actor and political activist
Mervyn Leroy, director
Jack Lord, actor
Ross MacDonald, author
Burgess Meredith, actor
Iris Murdoch, author
Edmond O’Brien, actor
Arthur O’Connell, actor
Marv Owen, baseball player
Molly Picon, actor
Otto Preminger, director
Bill Quackenbush, professional hockey player
Ronald Reagan, 40th President of USA
Harry Ritz, performer
Sugar Ray Robinson, boxer
Norman Rockwell, artist
Simon Scott, actor
Irving Shulman, screenwriter
Betty Schwartz, Olympic gold medal winner in track events
Kay Swift,composer
Alfred Van Vogt, science fiction writer
E.B. White, author
Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister

This video includes others touched by Alzheimer’s:

Please help if you can.

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

Related images: alzheimers, memory walk