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Unlocking the Mysteries of Alzheimer's Disease

My mother was an Alzheimer's patient. I think it's fair to say the disease killed her although like a lot of people in their 80's with serious illnesses, she got caught in a whirlpool of problems that made it hard to pin the blame on any one thing.

A few weeks ago I heard from a man who taught science at Kingswood, where I went to school for six years when it was still a boys school. His wife has Alzheimer's Disease. She was a science teacher too. She's in a residential care facility and true to form, he wanted to talk about the science of the disease and specifically about the exciting research unfolding in the area of prevention, drug therapy, and genetic understanding. 

As he said, with 5 million people here in the U.S. we have almost no choice but to find cures and therapies. It's the sixth leading cause of death, and that number will rise as baby boomers age. It's a disease that disproportionately affects women, making up two-thirds of the Americans who get it.

This hour, we talk to two researchers on the cutting-edge of research.

Betsy Kaplan produced this show. Chion Wolf was the technical producer.

Leave your comments below or email us at colin@wnpr.org.


  • Dr. Stephen Strittmatter is Professor of Neurology and Professor of Neurobiology, Director of Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair, and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at Yale. You can read more from Strittmatter Laboratory here
  • Dr. Christopher van Dyck is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurobiology and Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit at Yale University. You can read about The A4 Study here

Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer.

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