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Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner says U.S. neglects Alzheimer's research

Omaha World-Herald 12/14/12

By Rick Ruggles WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

The United States neglects research in Alzheimer's disease because those who suffer from it can't protest and their relatives flee from the topic, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist said Thursday in Omaha.

Many children and spouses of Alzheimer's patients “want to run away from it,” said Dr. Stanley Prusiner, who won a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his discovery of prions. Prions (pronounced PREE-ons) are misshapen proteins that multiply and cause Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which strikes some former football players, boxers and soldiers who have suffered head injuries.

His Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, conducts research and seeks cures for various brain diseases.

“We don't have a single drug that halts or even slows one neurodegenerative disease,” Prusiner said in an interview.

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