Jul 7, 2011

Alzheimer's, Henry McCance and Rudolph Tanzi

Henry McCance is considered to be one of the world's best venture capitalist. Rudy Tanzi is a world class geneticist and one of the most important Alzheimer's researchers in the world. Together they have a simple straightforward goal -- find an effective treatment for Alzheimer's sooner rather than later.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Alzheimer's community is frustrated by the amount of funding that is currently going into Alzheimer's disease research. But that is only part of the problem. Alzheimer's researchers typically spend 30-40 percent of their time applying for grants, and it is not unusual for them to wait a year or more for an answer. Time that could be more effectively spent searching for a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's, Henry McCance and Rudolph Tanzi
Henry McCance
Henry McCance is considered to be one of the world's best venture capitalist. He understands Alzheimer's and lived in the front row. His wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's more than a decade ago. One of the brightest investors in the world, Henry learned that there was no effective treatment for Alzheimer's.

In 2004, Henry decided to apply the principles he learned as a venture capitalist to Alzheimer's research. Along with the help of two other families the Cure Alzheimer's Fund (CAF) was born. The CAF is designed to proactively identify the best, most talented scientists, and get them funded now. A process that takes a few weeks and a few pieces of paper. No strings and bureaucratic mess involved.

Scientists backed by the Cure Alzheimer's Fund are required to share their intellectual capital (the fruit of their research) with other researchers on a right now basis. To freely collaborate.

The goal of the CAF is to move the ball down the field as fast as possible. Not an inch at a time. The goal to identify an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease by 2020.

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Dr Rudolph Tanzi
Rudolph (Rudy) Tanzi is a world class geneticist. I first wrote about him in 2009, A Sudden Flash of Genius. At the Tanzi Lab located at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Tanzi is carrying out genome-wide association screens to identify novel genes associated with Alzheimer's disease. A study from the Tanzi Lab and collaborators suggests that A-beta is a hitherto unrecognized antimicrobial peptide (AMP) that may normally function in the innate immune system. This finding stands in stark contrast to current models of A-beta-mediated pathology and has important implications for ongoing and future AD treatment strategies (the Flash).

In this brief video from TEDMED 2010 you will hear from both McCance and Tanzi. You will hear them speak in plain English that is easy to understand. You'll learn there is hope and there is a path to a treatment and that these paths are being investigated.

You'll learn directly from a man who understands first hand what it is like to live with Alzheimer's disease. You'll learn that he is not interested in advancing the science an inch at a time.

One hundred cents, 100 percent, of the monies that are donated to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund go into Alzheimer's research. Henry McCance and the other founding families pay 100 percent of the Fund's expenses out of their own pocket.

You might consider donating a few bucks if you have them to spare. No amount is too small, or too big. Click on the red circle below the video to donate.