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Drugs, diet, and exercise headline day three of international Alzheimer’s conference in Toronto, Canada

Toronto, March 26 – Drugs that can stop or reverse Alzheimer’s disease progression are not available yet, but a number of potentially promising clinical trials could hold the key for modifying the treatment of the disease.

That will be one of the themes of the first plenary session on Monday, March 28 at the 26th Annual Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International. The conference takes place at the Sheraton Centre hotel in Toronto, March 26-29, 2011.Dr. Francesca Mangialasche, an Italian geriatrician at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, will provide an overview of some of the exciting developments in Alzheimer drug research.

“Many clinical and experimental studies are ongoing, but we need to acknowledge that a single cure for Alzheimer’s disease is unlikely to be found and that the approach to drug development needs to be reconsidered,” explains Dr. Mangialasche. “Increased collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and researchers has the potential of bringing us closer to developing an optimum approach for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Later on in the same plenary session, Dr. Ronald Petersen, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre at the Mayo Clinic, will present the results of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a landmark study on whether MRIs, PETs and other imaging devices can be combined with memory tests and detection of risk proteins to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier and with more accuracy.

“Imaging measures and biomarkers will become essential ingredients in the new criteria for diagnosing this disease. The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging project will provide vital data on how they work,” says Dr. Petersen.

Monday’s second plenary session will focus on the role of diet and exercise in helping to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Carol Greenwood, a senior scientist at Baycrest, one of Canada’s top research centres on aging, will detail her findings on the connection between nutrition, diabetes and dementia prevention. Also slated to speak is Dr. Nikos Scarmeas of the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York. He is a proponent of the Mediterranean-type diet and will share his work on the protective benefits of exercise and diet.

On Tuesday, March 29, the conference will highlight research and practice that is making a difference for people with dementia in minority and indigenous communities.

Visit www.adi2011.org for more information and follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter.

About Alzheimer’s Disease International

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is the international federation of over 70 Alzheimer associations. It was founded in 1984 as a network for Alzheimer associations around the world to share and exchange information, resources and skills. ADI is based in London and is registered as a non-profit organization in the USA. ADI has been in official relations with the World Health Organization since 1996. Each member is the national Alzheimer association in their country who support people with dementia and their families. ADI’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their families throughout the world. Visit www.alz.co.uk.

NOTE: Media registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the media.
To qualify, you need an assignment letter from the organization for which you will be covering the conference (signed and on letterhead), along with professional identification for yourself as a journalist. Please Kirstin Blakey at [email protected]

For further information:

Contacts

Rosanne Meandro, Communications, Alzheimer Society of Canada (Toronto)
416-847-8920, BlackBerry: 416-669-5715, [email protected]

Virginia Bawlf, Communications, Alzheimer Society of Canada (Toronto)
416-847-2957, cell: 647-379-4145, [email protected]