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A Dementia That Afflicts Younger Population Has Similarities to Alzheimer's, Applicable Treatments
Date:9/21/2009

Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and The Association for Frontotemporal Dementias study identifies funding gaps, opportunities for accelerating drug discovery and development

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Neurodegenerative disorders called frontotemporal dementias (FTD) are the second-leading cause of early-onset dementia in persons under age 65 and can emerge sometimes as early as age 20. While research over the past 10 years has contributed much to the understanding of FTD, little progress has been made in the development of effective therapies, says a new report by Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and The Association for Frontotemporal Dementias.

"Frontotemporal dementias and Alzheimer's disease share some common disease mechanisms and much of what we learn about Alzheimer's can be applied to FTD and vice versa. That is why our two organizations collaborated on this study," says Howard Fillit, MD, Executive Director of Alzheimer's Drug Discovery foundation. "FTD affects a younger population than Alzheimer's, and in some respects is harder to diagnose."

"Over the past 10 years, 74% of funding for FTD has gone to basic research, and only 10% to pre-clinical drug development or toward early detection and diagnosis," says Philip H. Lovett, Research Liaison for The Association for Frontotemporal Dementias' Board of Directors and a Founding Partner of Millennium Partners. "NIH has provided the overwhelming majority of funding, but from 1999 to 2007 its funding has diminished five-fold, and the size of individual grants is smaller."

Alzheimer's disease is typified by plaques of amyloid protein on brain cells, and intracellular tangles
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
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