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Greg Lester
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September 27, 2001

Retreat Is A Step Forward for Alzheimer's Research

2nd Annual Center For Neurodegenerative Disease Research Retreat, November 7, 2001

Emerging Alzheimer's Disease Therapies: Focusing on the Future

(Philadelphia, PA) - On November 7, 2001, world leaders in Alzheimer's Disease research will converge on the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center to discuss the future of Alzheimer's therapy.

The retreat, organized by John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, and Virginia M. -Y. Lee, PhD, co-founders and co-directors of the Penn Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR), is open to students, researchers, clinicians, and interested members of the press.

"This is an exciting time in Alzheimer's Disease research - in just the last few years we have made incredible advances in the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer's," said Lee. "Because it is such a dynamic field, those of us in research have a great need to come together in order to share what we know."

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related and irreversible brain disorder that occurs gradually and results in memory loss, behavior and personality changes, and a decline in thinking abilities. These losses are related to the breakdown of the connections between nerve cells in the brain and the eventual death of many of these cells.

AD is the most common cause of dementia among people age 65 and older. It presents a major health problem for the United States because of its enormous impact on individuals, families, the health care system, and society as a whole. Scientists estimate that up to 4 million people currently suffer from the disease and that approximately 360,000 new cases will occur each year - a number expected to increase as the population ages.

The CNDR was founded in 1991 by the husband and wife team of Trojanowski and Y. Lee. The center is devoted to developing better diagnostic strategies and effective new therapies - and encouraging the rapid translation of progress at the lab bench to the bedside.

The CNDR conducts multidisciplinary clinical and basic research studies to learn more about the causes and mechanisms leading to brain dysfunction and degeneration in AD, Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease, and other less common neurodegenerative disorders.

"We want to provide our students and colleagues with an informal opportunity to get together and talk about what lies ahead for Alzheimer's research," said Trojanowski. "I expect the walls will positively bulge outward with the might of the assembled brain power."

The schedule of events will include lectures by:

Ivan Lieberburg, MD, PhD, Elan Corporation
"Systemic Immunotherapy for Alzheimer's Disease"

Cynthia Lemere, PhD, Harvard Medical School
"Intra-nasal Immunotherapy for Alzheimer's Disease"

Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, New York University Medical School
"Gonadal Hormone Therapy For Alzheimer's Disease"

Ashley Bush, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School
"Metal Complexing Agents as Therapies for Alzheimer's Disease"

Blas Frangione, MD, PhD, New York University Medical School
"Modification of Soluble Ab Derivatives: An Approach to Alzheimer's Disease Therapy"

Martin Citron, PhD, Amgen, Incorporated.
"Beta-secretase Inhibitor Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease"

Yue-Min Li, PhD, Merck and Company
"Gamma-secretase: Identification and Implications for Alzheimer's Disease Therapy"

Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, Penn School of Medicine
"Amyloid Binding Ligands as Alzheimer's Disease Therapies"

Sangram S. Sisodia, PhD, University of Chicago
"Current Status of Emerging Therapies for Alzheimer's Disease"

Christopher Clark, MD & Jason Karlawish, MD, Penn School of Medicine
"What are the Next Steps? The Challenges of Transforming Advances in the Laboratory into Treatments for Patients"

The deadline for symposium registration is October 15, 2001. For registration and complete scheduling information please call (215) 662-4708, e-mail viale@mail.med.upenn.edu, or visit on the Web at www.uphs.upenn.edu/cndr

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Editor's Note: Interested members of the media are urged to contact Greg Lester at (215) 349-5658 at anytime before the conference if they would like to attend any of the lectures or by October 15, 2001 if they plan to attend the entire day's events.






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