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Critically Speaking

Dec 1, 2021

Among the biggest health fears adults have are getting a diagnosis of cancer or developing Alzheimer's disease. An estimated 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older, actually are living with Alzheimer's today. That number could double by 2050. The worldwide number is estimated to be about 50 million. Alzheimer's develops later in life, and class can last anywhere from three to 10 years before the patient dies. And currently, there's no cure for the disease. Well, today's guest is uniquely suited to address these questions and tell us what's on the horizon in terms of research and treatment. Dr. Ryan Townley, of the neurology department at the University of Kansas Medical Center is a primary investigator at the university's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Not only does he see patients, but his role as Associate Director of the Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Consortium puts him in a unique position, he's at the cutting edge of the potential new treatments being tested. In todays’ episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Townley discuss the causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatments (both current and in trials) of Alzheimer’s. 


 Key Takeaways:

  • We know that amyloid plaques are kind of a hallmark of the disease, but we don't know if they're causative of the disease or the symptom.
  • 35 to 40% of patients that develop Alzheimer's disease don't have an APOE e4 allele.
  • Some supplements, individually, have gone through clinical trials. However, none of them have been done through classic clinical trials and supplements are not regulated and may not contain what they say. 
  • Sleep, and good sleep, is the most overlooked important lifestyle factor in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. 


"Our early detection methods are really going to have to improve for us to make a major dent in changing the course of this disease." —  Dr. Ryan Townley


Connect with Dr. RyanTownley:

Professional Bio: 




Article: Alzheimer’s Disease, Aduhelm, and The Fear of False Hope 


Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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