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New book by UCSB author offers a formula for Alzheimer's disease management and prevention
Date:5/25/2010

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) With the aging of nearly 80 million baby boomers, Alzheimer's disease is an impending epidemic that requires a new approach to prevention as well as management of the disease, according to a UC Santa Barbara professor who has co-authored a new book on the topic.

"The Alzheimer's Solution, How Today's Care is Failing Millions and How We can Do Better," by Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research at UCSB and co-director of UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute, is filled with new ideas about the disease. Kosik, who is both a neuroscientist and a physician, wrote the book with Ellen Clegg, science writer and communications specialist for the Broad Institute.

"We have no satisfactory treatment for Alzheimer's disease," Kosik said in an interview. "Drugs don't have much of an impact. If you have a problem for which neither surgery nor pills will work, then the medical system is really more of an obstacle than a help." He explained that people don't generally know this and they think that if they have a medical problem, they should seek help within the medical system. "It need not work that way," he said.

The authors outline a bold vision of one-stop centers that would provide expertise and reliable information on a range of topics: dietary regimens, physical and cognitive exercise programs that may help reduce the risk for dementia, and palliative measures to reduce suffering. The centers they describe would take a family-oriented, personalized approach to care and prevention, creating an atmosphere conducive to adult learning, and facilitating personal growth in areas that patients have enjoyed over a lifetime, including the arts, dance, socializing, and a host of other possibilities.

Kosik has created such a one-stop center in Santa Barbara, called The Center for Cognitive Fitness and Innovative Therapies (CFIT), as a test site for a new way of helping with Alzheimer's disease.
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Contact: Gail Gallessich
gail.g@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-7220
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert

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