Bracing for the Alzheimer's Surge

"These reports from this meeting show just how many drugs and how many different types of drugs are in the pipeline," Gandy said. "We're excited to see drugs make it to phase 3, where they're about to be approved."

But the news for Alzheimer's medicines was not all good.

"Federal funding for Alzheimer's disease is being cut," Gandy said. "In 15 years, the cost of caring for Alzheimer's alone in this country will be equivalent to the current entire Medicare budget."

"We need for the public to lobby their lawmakers. Without the research, we won't keep having these medicines."

Finding Alzheimer's Early

While several promising treatments were discussed, many researchers hoped to delve to the root of the problem: detecting Alzheimer's before it becomes problematic.

"A lot of this work is for early identification, so can we identify people in the early stages or when they're normal but have a risk profile," Petersen said. "Then, to the extent we can get in there with these therapies, again, the sooner the better, we can make some major inroads into this disease."

Inroads that will hopefully come soon enough to help treat the millions whom the disease will affect in the future.

"The public has to appreciate that science moves slowly and incrementally, but if you look at now compared to five years ago there has been significant progress, and that's really where we're going," Petersen said.

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