International experts gather in UCD this week (14-16 March 2005)* to discuss medical research into neurodegenerative diseases including the eighth most common cause of death in the developed world ¡V Alzheimer¡¦s Disease.
Alzheimer¡¦s Disease is a degenerative brain disorder that primarily affects older people. It may begin with simple forgetfulness but more advanced symptoms include confusion, language disturbances, personality and behaviour changes and impaired judgment. The disease duration can span from two to twenty years and the economic cost to families and society is enormous. US estimates put the cost of the disease there at $80 -100 billion per annum.
Dr Dominic Walsh from UCD¡¦s Conway Institute and a leading expert in Alzheimer¡¦s, has warned that, with its aging population, Ireland is sitting on a geriatric medical timebomb if the Government does not actively set the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases as a coherent research priority. ¡§The investment by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has been monumental in providing a base for world class scientific research in Ireland. However, we need to focus efforts across the Irish universities into areas where we can create a critical mass of research to make breakthroughs that will impact directly on Irish society.¡¨ He said.
Elaine Quinn | alfa
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