Teaming Up to Fight Alzheimer's Disease

No matter which team you cheer for, we can all appreciate the value of teamwork both on and off the field. Today's LillyPad guest post shines the spotlight on team spirit in today's post on efforts to find new treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

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PhRMA, Alzheimer's Association, and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation highlighted their promising off-the-field partnerships during a recent event: "Alzheimer's: The Puzzle, The Partners, The Path Forward." The day featured speakers from a variety of key research and advocacy groups--all working to write their part in the playbook to combat Alzheimer's.

Discussions like these have become more important than ever considering the global scope of Alzheimer's and dementia. The World Health Organization reports that dementia currently impacts 35.6 million people worldwide, and estimates show this could increase to over 115 people million by 2050. What's more, the effects of Alzheimer's reach beyond the patients themselves, as the disease can also have a significant impact on spouses, family members, friends, and caregivers.

One of the best ways to advance the fight to end Alzheimer's is through better collaboration between all stakeholders.This should include:

  • Moving beyond the national level to support international research
  • Engaging more with patients, who want greater chances to participate
  • Leveraging big data across patient groups
  • Fostering more global clinical trial networks

Through transparent, collaborative efforts such as these, we can give researchers their greatest chance at finding a cure to Alzheimer's in our lifetime.

In the U.S., the National Alzheimer's Plan is the keystone of a national strategy to coordinate research, improve early Alzheimer's diagnosis, and accelerate the development of new treatments. President Obama also designated an additional $100 million in funding to support research, education and outreach efforts, and support for Alzheimer's caregivers. This marks an important step for Alzheimer's research, but it's just the first of many required to meet the global challenge presented by this disease.

Teamwork is a winning strategy, from the football field to the fight against Alzheimer's disease. Though it will take a global effort of countless individuals to find a cure for this disease, we have confidence that working together gives us the greatest chance of reaching the goal line.