Medical Innovation: Providing Hope for Millions of Alzheimer's Patients and their Caretakers

Medical Innovation: Providing Hope for Millions of Alzheimer's Patients and their Caretakers

11.21.11 | By Jennifer Wall

A few days ago, I wrote about Sabina and Mark Shalom, a caregiver and Alzheimer's patient featured in our video about this devastating disease. Sabina, like the millions of other caregivers, has great hopes that one day there will be a treatment available that can help delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer's. The good news is that important research work on this disease has been taking place for years by biopharmaceutical research companies and the fruits of their labor can be seen in the fact that nearly 100 medicines are in the pipeline to help treat or prevent Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Eli Lilly and Company is just one biopharmaceutical research company that has dedicated its time and resources to researching and developing an Alzheimer's treatment. In this new video, the global head of research and development at Lilly, Dr. Jan Lundberg, discusses his personal mission to discover an innovative treatment, even before knowing that his own mother had Alzheimer's.

His emotional and compelling story is one that many people can relate to. It was several years ago when Jan's mother called him on the telephone from Sweden asking him for a recipe for pancakes. This surprised Jan because she had known how to make pancakes for most of her life, so it was a telling sign that something was wrong. Soon after, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a disease that an estimated 5.4 million people are living with today. As you can imagine, this has provided Jan even more motivation to find a treatment for Alzheimer's.

If nothing is done to change the current projections of the disease, it is estimated that someone will develop the disease every 33 seconds by 2050, costing the U.S. health care system $1.1 trillion. Only innovative medicines can change this trajectory. For this reason, it is critical that policymakers, and the public alike, support the biopharmaceutical research industry and the important work that this sector does to help patients win their battle against disease.

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