Free forum will focus on genetic causes of Alzheimer's

DALLAS — Sept. 23, 2009 — Dr. Allen Roses, director of Duke University’s Deane Drug Discovery Institute, will discuss research aimed at reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people most susceptible to it at a Fall Public Forum on Sept. 23 at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

In 1992 Dr. Roses discovered a gene responsible for about half of inherited Alzheimer’s cases, and recently found that another gene interacts with it to further increase a person’s risk. In concert, these genes may account for most of the inherited form of the disease’s genetic effect.

The 7 p.m. forum, presented by The Friends of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at
UT Southwestern, will be held in the Simmons/Hamon Biomedical Research Buildings on the North Campus. Complimentary valet parking is available, but because seating is limited, attendance should be confirmed by calling the medical center’s Office of Development at 214-648-2344.

“Dr. Roses is truly a great physician-scientist and one of the most important Alzheimer’s disease researchers in the world today,” said Dr. Roger Rosenberg, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center. “He discovered 17 years ago the most important genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and continues to investigate other genes that increase the risk for AD.”

Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to rise to 12 million cases in the U.S. by 2030. Inherited cases of Alzheimer’s represent a fraction of the cases, but they are more severe and start at an earlier age.

Dr. Roses’ recent work defines another gene that plays a major role in the development of Alzheimer’s. His studies may account for 85 percent to 90 percent of the genetic effects.

The Friends of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center was established in 1996 to provide financial support for Alzheimer’s research at UT Southwestern. All of the group’s membership contributions go directly to support Alzheimer’s research at the medical center.

Since its founding, the group has raised more than $600,000 for grants to researchers.

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Media Contact: Aline McKenzie
214-648-3404
aline.mckenzie@utsouthwestern.edu

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