Narrator: This is Science Today. It's estimated that there are more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer's disease. While there is no cure for this debilitating, neurodegenerative brain disorder, researchers have long been working to develop new treatments that may alter the course of the disease and improve quality of life for patients. Dr. Frank LaFerla, co-director of the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia at the University of California, Irvine, says the field of Alzheimer's disease is at an exciting junction.
LaFerla: Many in the field believe that the plaque protein beta amyloid is a major trigger for all forms of Alzheimer's disease and ultimately, we'll know if we're right depending upon the success of the human clinical trials. There are currently many clinical trials that are underway that specifically target some aspect of beta amyloid biology and if in fact beta amyloid is the trigger for Alzheimer's disease, we anticipate that these human clinical trials will turn out in a very positive light.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.