Terrified older men and women running naked in the streets, unaware of where they are, of who they are.
While it may seem far-fetched, that doomsday scenario was discussed in Las Vegas last week at the Leon Thal Symposium on "The Prevention of Dementia."
International researchers on that condition and Alzheimer's disease were brought together Tuesday and Wednesday at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas by the Keep Memory Alive Foundation and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health of Southern Nevada. The scientists stressed the need for a global sense of urgency in finding cures and treatments for conditions that cause progressive brain cell degeneration and lead to memory loss and behavioral changes.
"We can't wait 20 years to do the kinds of tests they do for cardiovascular disease relating to cholesterol and heart disease," said Dr. Ron Petersen, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Minnesota.
"With the demographics of the world and the country -- our baby boomers -- we have to accelerate our research," said Petersen, who treated former President Ronald Reagan for Alzheimer's disease.
Las Vegas Review-Journal by Paul Harasim 11/1/09