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China may follow the model for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

This is Science Today. Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among people aged 65 and older and there are estimates that by the year 2050, the global prevalence of this debilitating disease will quadruple. Dr. Michael Weiner of the University of California, San Francisco, says in China alone, the rates are expected to rise significantly.

Weiner:          In the last twenty years, China has transformed to a very rapidly developing country. So, there's more and more older people living in China and I've seen some data that suggests the number of patients with Alzheimer's/dementia in China right now exceeds the number in the United States. Well, it's much, much bigger country, but the rate of growth of Alzheimer's patients in China is very, very rapid now.

Narrator:       Weiner is the principal investigator of a nationwide, sixty-center effort to find early biomarkers of the disease. It's called the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, or ADNI and Weiner says, now China is interested in following their successful model. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.