Thomas Kukar, a new Emory faculty member in pharmacology, is participating in a charity bicycle ride for Alzheimer’s disease research called the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Ride. On Thursday and Friday, he will be riding from Oklahoma City, OK to Wichita, KS.Â Tomorrow’s ride is 100 miles, and it’s supposed to be 97Â°F in Wichita.
Thomas Kukar, PhD
Kukar’s willingness to take on this challenge indicates that he shouldn’t have too much trouble adjusting to Atlanta’s climate. He comes to Emory from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. There, he investigated potential drugs that could change how the body produces and processes beta-amyloid, a toxic protein fragment that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
The money raised by the bicycle ride goes to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Posted on August 18, 2010
Scans can show beta amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease (right)
For the first time in 25 years, medical experts are proposing new diagnostic criteria aimed at better and earlier detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The guidelines, proposed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Association, update and revise the current Alzheimer’s criteria with modern technologies and the latest research advances.
According to the Alzheimerâ€™s Association, an estimated 5.3 million Americans have AD, most of them 65 and older. The disease is thought to begin years, possibly even decades, before symptoms are noticeable. But there is no single, generally accepted way to identify the disease in its earliest stages before symptoms are evident.
The new diagnostic guidelines focus on advances in detecting biomarkers for the disease, such as substances found in spinal fluid or appearing on cutting-edge brain imaging scans conducted with PET or MRI.
Emphasis will be on diagnosing early stages of the disease as soon as possible so that patients can take measures to slow the progression or prevent further damage.