FOX 47 - Health News

MADISON (WMSN) -- The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine now houses one of the premier research labs for Alzheimer's Disease.

It is a debilitating disease, affecting 160,000 families in Wisconsin. Alzheimer's patients suffer memory loss, poor judgment, and language problems -- making treatment difficult

"The person with the disease has trouble communicating, so we don't know what to do to help them," said Paul Rusk, executive director of the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Association.

And the number of cases is spiking -- 115 million people worldwide by the year 2050.

"Over the age of 85, 40 percent of people at that age have Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Sanjay Asthana. "Another 20 percent have some kind of memory problem."

Dr. Asthana is director of the new Alzheimer's Disease research center. He says the illness creates social and economic burdens for families.

"The disease is so devastating. It's projected that millions of people will have the disease in this country, and bankrupt the Medicare system, unless we find an effective treatment."

Doctors have lofty goals -- to recognize and treat the disease before symptoms start. Using brain scans, blood tests, and psychological exams, doctors hope to discover the secrets of alzheimer's -- most importantly, how it happens and who's going to get it.

One of the most unique features of the UW center is a statewide registry of at-risk Alzheimer's patients. Doctors say these 1,300 people -- some as young as 20 -- could be a key to treatments down the road.

"We know these people are at genetic risk for the disease," Dr. Asthana said. "So, we'll follow them over 20, 30 years to see who develops the disease and why they're different from those who don't."

Proactive steps, researches hope, will uncover the mystery of Alzheimer's.

Said Rusk, "Participating in research is an incredibly powerful way to fight back."

UWSM received a $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and Aging for the project. It is one of only 17 centers in the entire country to take on this kind of work.

People at UWSM hope to open another Alzheimer's center in Milwaukee, targeted at helping minority patients.

Alzheimer's Research Center Opens

Video List

Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!

Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)

Hookah and e-cigarettes popular with high schoolers
Almost 10 percent of 11th and 12th graders are using e-cigarettes, and other alternative tobacco products are increasingly popular, according to a new study.

Preschoolers in daycare need more outdoor time
Many preschoolers in daycare may need more outdoor time to help increase their odds of getting enough physical activity, a small U.S. study suggests.

Another American Ebola survivor had eye problems
Ebola survivor Dr. Ian Crozier wasn't the only American to experience eye problems following the disease — a new report describes eye problems in another American doctor who lived through the disease.

Misleading HPV vaccine websites are easy to find
Parents who go online to find out about the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer, may have a hard time finding accurate information, a recent U.S. study suggests.

HIV-positive doctor says his dog saved his life
Rob Garofalo was devastated.

Advertise with us!

Tonight on FOX 47

5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm Big Bang Theory
7:00pm Gotham (Fall Finale)
8:00pm Minority Report (Season Finale)
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Modern Family
10:05pm Mike & Molly
10:35pm 2 Broke Girls
11:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:35pm The Simpsons
12:05am Mike & Molly

Complete FOX 47 Schedule

To FOX.com

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix