A University of Pennsylvania Institute of Aging Alzheimer’s Lecture

A California entrepreneur, Robert Kasirer focuses his business particularly on health care. Complementing his professional experience, Robert Kasirer formerly served as an external advisory board member with the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Aging (IOA), an organization that undertakes education and clinical research related to improving the health and well-being of people of age.

One of the IOA’s undertakings involves sponsoring a Visiting Scholars Series of lectures that most recently featured Jeffrey Cummings, MD, speaking on “Alzheimer’s Disease: Clinical Trials and Drug Development.” The presentation brought focus to the fact that, at well over $100 billion, the direct costs associated with Alzheimer’s outpace those associated with cancer and heart disease.

The presentation also addressed the development in recent years of symptomatic therapies that have brought a number of benefits to Alzheimer’s research. These benefits include regulatory pathways and measurement performance tools becoming more well defined, which expedites the introduction of practical therapies. In addition, the relatively short six-month development period for such therapies as nasal insulin and cannabinoid antagonists results in a smaller required sample size and quicker results. Dr. Cummings continued with a discussion of emerging treatments, including immunotherapies and neuroprotectors, that have the potential to slow or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s in elderly patients.

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