US Rep. Steve Israel attends scientists’ first meeting at Feinstein Institute
Manhasset, NY – The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research yesterday hosted the initial meeting of the newly formed Long Island Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium, which was also attended by US Rep. Steve Israel and State Assemblyman Charles Lavine. The consortium, which was conceived by Rep. Israel and includes a group of Alzheimer’s disease experts from throughout the New York area, met to discuss what they can collectively do to improve patients’ lives.
Barring new medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease, and as the US population gets older and life expectancy increases, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s will nearly triple by 2050. Furthermore, total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are projected to increase to $1.2 trillion in 2050. Even though Alzheimer’s disease is devastating, pervasive and costly, federal funding of research in this area is very low – $400 million per year is dedicated to Alzheimer’s research versus $6 billion per year for cancer research.
In search of a solution, Peter Davies, PhD, a world-renowned Alzheimer’s disease researcher who leads the Litwin-Zucker Center at the Feinstein Institute, organized the Long Island Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium at the suggestion of Rep. Israel. Rep Israel and Assemblyman Lavine are collaborating with the consortium to create a ten-year bond that would allocate per year $7 of each NY tax payer’s payments to Alzheimer’s disease research. This would add up to $1 billion dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease research.
“Currently, there is no effective treatment for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. To find a treatment that works takes research, and that takes financial support,” said Dr. Davies. “In this current climate, my fellow researchers and I do not have the necessary financial support. Representative Israel and Assemblyman Lavine, along with the Long Island Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium, are working to develop an environment that fosters the discovery of treatments that make a difference.”
Members of Long Island Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium who were able to attend the initial meeting include:
- Dr. Lisa Miller from Brookhaven National Laboratory
- Dr. Josh Dubnau from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
- Drs. Peter Davies, Terry Goldberg, Concepcion Goldberg, Marc L Gordon, Jeremy Koppel, Philippe Marambaud from the Feinstein Institute
- Drs. Helene Benveniste, Dmitry Goldgaber, William Van Nostrand and Steven O. Smith from Stony Brook University
- Drs. Richard Rubenstein and Howard Crystal from SUNY Downstate Medical Center
- Dr. Tom Jeitner from Winthrop Hospital
Also invited, but unable to attend, were Dr. Pavel Osten (Cold Spring Harbor) and Dr. John Robinson (Stony Brook).
The Long Island Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium is planning to meet again within the next few months to evaluate progress and next steps.
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About Peter Davies, PhD
Peter Davies, PhD, is the director of the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. The Feinstein’s Litwin Zucker Center is the only dedicated Alzheimer’s disease research facility on Long Island. Dr. Davies and his colleagues have conducted dozens of research studies and enrolled thousands of study participants in hopes of identifying new ways to detect and treat Alzheimer’s disease. For more information about the Litwin-Zucker Research Center, call (516) 562-3492.
About The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is home to international scientific leaders in many areas including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, human genetics, pulmonary hypertension, leukemia, neuroimmunology, and medicinal chemistry. The Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, ranks in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers. For more information, visit www.FeinsteinInstitute.org.