Mount Sinai Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Dr Sam Gandy will share his expert view on what it will take to get an effective drug for Alzheimer’s disease, when he joins the keynote speaker program of the 17th Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference in Melbourne this month.

In 1989, Dr Gandy and his team developed the first drugs that lowered the formation of amyloid beta, a sticky substance that clogs the brains of people living with Alzheimer’s disease.


“Even though, as a research community, we have not been able to translate amyloid beta reduction into a benefit there is still good reason to believe we will eventually have a meaningful impact on the major causes of dementia,” Dr Gandy said.

Worldwide, researchers and drug companies, using Dr Gandy’s and others’ research, persist in their efforts to develop a treatment for dementia.

Earlier this year, Dr Gandy and his team made the surprising discovery that neutralising one single inflammatory molecule could prevent the toxic effects of amyloid beta on behaviour and neurophysiology. This observation provides some of the clearest hope that drugs aimed at slowing or arresting progression of cognitive decline might be effective even if begun after brain amyloidosis is well-established.

Recent evidence indicates that brain amyloidosis usually precedes cognitive decline by several decades, creating quite a challenge for the shift toward prevention-type strategies.


Dr Gandy’s work over the past two decades has been so significant that in 2009 he featured as one of GQ Magazine’s ‘Rock stars of Science’.


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. More than 70 per cent of people impacted by dementia are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Sam Gandy, is the Mount Sinai Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Associate Director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre in New York City, and Chairman Emeritus of the National Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association, USA.

He is the final speaker to be announced of an impressive line-up comprising local and international speakers, including Validation Method pioneer Naomi Feil and Montessori in dementia care expert Dr Cameron Camp, both also from the USA.


The conference will be officially opened by dementia advocate, Christine Bryden who was diagnosed with dementia in1996, at the age of 46. She will be joined on the conference program by South Australian of the Year 2017 and dementia advocate, Kate Swaffer, who was diagnosed in 2008 at aged 49.


Assoc Prof Alan Duffy, astrophysicist, media personality and Research Fellow at Swinburne University will be Master of Ceremonies.


Maree McCabe, National CEO Alzheimer’s Australia, said the conference will provide a unique opportunity to explore leading approaches from across the globe that support people living with dementia to live engaging and rewarding lives.


“We are so excited to be welcoming such an eclectic and respected range of the world’s leading experts to Melbourne. I have no doubt that attendees from the sector and community will come away feeling energised and inspired to implement some of the learnings from the conference and to continue making a difference to the lives of people living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.

“In a time of unprecedented change in dementia and aged care, the conference will provide a unique opportunity for people from across the world to come together and share their insights and experiences.

“We are looking forward to welcoming speakers and delegates from the aged and health care sectors; clinical and social researchers; those working with new technologies; architects; designers; people living with dementia; carers and community leaders. The goal of our exciting program of practical and interactive sessions is to encourage attendees to consider how they can ‘be the change’ in their own spheres of influence.”


During the conference Alzheimer’s Australia will represent the 413,000 Australians living with dementia and the estimated 1.2million Australians involved in their care.

This 17th Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference will take place in Melbourne on 17- 20 October 2017 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Further information can be found at www.dementia2017.org

Source: AAP Medianet

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