Dr. Rudy Tanzi describes the role of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and the Alzheimer’s Genome Project(link to AGP) in recent progress in Alzheimer’s disease research in a posting on NaplesNews.com. He explains:
Prior to the Alzheimer’s Genome Project, we had discovered only four genes implicated in Alzheimer’s. And while these genes accounted for 30 percent of the inheritance of Alzheimer’s, we still had 70 percent of the genes left to discover.
Fortunately, a perfect storm of opportunity presented itself in 2005. A small group of passionate, devoted venture capitalists formed the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to pave the way toward a cure; the Human Genome Project was completed, mapping out the 20,000 plus human genes; groundbreaking scanning technology became available; and valuable statistic programs made a wealth of information more accessible. It was in this storm of opportunity that the Alzheimer’s Genome Project was born.
The Project’s first objective was to identify all the genes involve in Alzheimer’s. Within five years, we identified these 100 genes, essentially naming the Alzheimer’s players, so to speak.
With that objective complete, the Project’s has moved on to determine exactly what goes wrong with these genes. Once we know what is malfunctioning, we can determine how to fix it – and how to end the disease. In lay-man’s terms, I liken the process to the work of a mechanic. Before he can set upon fixing a car, he must first determine what is broken in a car (we’ve done that) and how it is broken. The 100 genes implicated in Alzheimer’s tell us what is broken; they give us the fundamental information needed to move toward developing effective therapies.