The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) announced the awarding of $100,000 in grant funding to the Litwin-Zucker Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research on Long Island.
The award represents the next phase of funding for a research project aimed at treating hallucinations, agitation and aggression among individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Behaviors such as these are among the most troubling symptoms that often present in the course of Alzheimer’s disease. These symptoms are frequently one of the main reasons that families make the difficult decision to move their loved one with Alzheimer’s from their home to a residential healthcare setting.
The funding award is the third phase of a five year, $500,000 commitment from AFA to the Center for this research project.
“AFA recognized the urgent need for research in this very difficult area, and provided support when few others were willing to do so. Dr. Jeremy Koppel and I, along with our team, have made real progress in this area over the last two years, and are excited to continue this research. We are very grateful to the AFA for helping launch this promising research,” said Dr. Peter Davies, director of the Litwin-Zucker Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
Currently, the only medications available for treating these behaviors are powerful antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia. These drugs can potentially cause adverse side effects, including an increased risk of cardiovascular issues and stroke.
Researchers at the center are examining a series of potential causes of the psychosis seen in Alzheimer’s disease, including an accumulation of tau in the brain’s frontal cortex. Their aim is to develop new, targeted treatments that can treat these symptoms, improve quality of life and keep people in their homes longer, without the potentially harmful side effects of currently used drugs.
“Enhancing quality of life for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease is critically important to AFA,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s president and CEO. “Finding more effective treatments for hallucination and aggression will make it easier for families to keep their loved one at home longer, avoid costly healthcare settings, and most importantly, improve quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. We are pleased to support the work being done by Dr. Peter Davies and his team.”