More than 26 million people are already living with Alzheimer’s, and that figure is projected to quadruple by 2050. Halting this epidemic represents perhaps the most daunting health challenge of the 21st century.
Age tends to be the key risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers in OMRF’s Aging and Metabolism Research Program are focused on the ways aging impacts disease and the changes that occur in aging that predispose people to diseases like Alzheimer’s. By learning more about the processes at work in the body as we age, they hope to pinpoint the specific processes that trigger the development of Alzheimer’s, as well as cancer, stroke, vision loss and other conditions associated with aging.
OMRF scientists are partnering with researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the VA Medical Center through a joint grant that established the Oklahoma Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in Basic Biology of Aging. These researchers will pool their talents and expertise to expand on the developing field of geroscience, where scientists study the changes that occur in aging that predispose people to diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a complicated, multi-faceted disease, and OMRF scientists are making progress against an illness that robs too many of their memories, their identities and, ultimately, their lives.