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Leading scientists meet to discuss treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Symposium tomorrow open to the public

Affecting an estimated 18 million people worldwide, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) carries an economic burden in excess of $100 billion a year in the United States alone. In an effort to bring together leading scientists from academia and industry to discuss the latest findings and strategies in dealing with the disease, the School of Medicine and Wyeth Research are presenting the Wyeth Symposium in the Pharmacological Sciences: Understanding Mechanisms Important in Neurodegeneration and Regeneration of the Nervous System.

This daylong program will be held tomorrow, Thursday, November 10, at the Trustee Ballroom on the ninth floor of One Sherborn St., beginning at 8:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

This international symposium of leaders in the research of neurodegenerative disorders was organized by David H. Farb, chairman of MED’s department of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics and director of the Interdepartmental Program in BioMedical Neuroscience, in collaboration with Menelas N. Pangalos, vice president of neuroscience research at Wyeth Research, and Steve Projan, vice president of biological technologies at Wyeth Research.

Currently, medication is available to treat some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s for a brief period of time. “Therapies that halt or reverse the disease progression of AD is a major area of focus across the academic, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical communities,” says Farb. “This symposium will provide the opportunity for discussion on the latest findings and strategies that are being employed to treat not only the symptoms, but also the underlying disease pathology.”

The morning session will focus specifically on the latest discoveries in understanding the biology of neuronal cell death, as well as strategies to develop therapies that modify the associated symptoms, such as memory impairment. The second session will focus on the latest findings regarding the biology of neuronal cell growth and survival and the potential strategies that might one day result in therapies to stop or even reverse the neuronal cell loss associated with AD and other degenerative disorders.

The symposium offers an opportunity for students, researchers, and the general public to hear from some of the most prominent scientists in the field and to learn more about the science that is pushing the boundaries for future therapies for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Wyeth Research provided an unrestricted grant to support the conference.