The saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Scientists understand the depth of that idiom all too well.
Demonstrable progress in Alzheimer’s research can be elusive; setbacks are common, breakthroughs are rare, but through it all – faith must be steadfast. As our founder and chief scientist, Dr. Michal Schwartz, said in her acceptance speech for the Blumberg Prize for Outstanding Medical Science Research, last November, “Being a scientist is not a profession, it’s a way of life.”
In the absence of that elusive breakthrough, a look back at this year provides us substantial encouragement as respected research organizations worldwide have published findings supporting some of our foundational tenets and research.
Our research regarding the role of the Choroid Plexus, and recruitment of myeloid cells – linking immune system activity with Alzheimer’s and indicating potential benefits of stimulating immune activity – was bolstered by researchers from Harvard University whose findings indicate that the immune system may play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s. A main point of their research is that stimulating the immune system rather than suppressing it could provide a safer and more effective means of combatting Alzheimer’s.
Our findings, published earlier this year in Nature Medicine showing the potential certain cancer-fighting drugs may have in fighting Alzheimer’s disease, have also found new champions. Research conducted by the University of California at San Diego and Harvard University, published in Science Signaling also demonstrated the potential of repurposing existing anti-cancer medications to fight Alzheimer’s as a preventative for those at-risk. As the Schwartz research suggests, since these drugs have already undergone considerable testing, repurposing them could speed up getting a treatment to those at risk from the disease.
Our long-standing belief that early, accurate detection of Alzheimer’s in the pre-clinical stage is a crucial step toward devising an effective line of treatment found support from researchers at the University of Edinburgh. Published in Nature Communications, the study details that a majority of research conducted around this disease usually focus on easily identifiable and/or severe symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s – after the neurological damage has been done. While some contend that early diagnosis is futile without a cure in place, we are steadfast that early diagnosis will be the gateway to curb the progression of, and potentially find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
As we continue to work through our ongoing U.S. clinical trials through 2017, the independent findings cited above help underscore the importance of our efforts, bolster the research of the Schwartz group to date, and support NeuroQuest’s foundational technologies. While there is still much work to be done, we firmly believe our research is making progress and yielding promising results.
For our own research family, for those whose work is mentioned above, and for the vast number who conduct their research in anonymity – we thank you for your tireless efforts this year as we all work together toward a common goal in turning the tide against Alzheimer’s. May 2017 be the year of the breakthrough.