CHARLESTON -- “Alzheimer’s Awareness,” a presentation on the biochemistry of Alzheimer’s disease, will be offered at 5 p.m. Nov. 15 in Witters Conference Room 4400 at Booth Library on the Eastern Illinois University campus. The program is free and open to the public.

Britto Nathan, professor and assistant chair of biological sciences at EIU, will give the presentation, which will discuss the biochemical and molecular pathways that lead to Alzheimer’s disease. A better understanding of these pathways may one day help develop novel therapeutics to combat AD.

Nathan said that more than 5 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. It is difficult to find someone without a family member of loved one having this devastating disease. This illness has an ability to rob the memory of its victims and leaves them dependent on others for even the most basic of tasks.

It is estimated that one in three senior citizens die with AD. Within the next few decades, this illness is predicted to be on the rise. Not only is this a dangerous prospect for those potentially afflicted as well as their care-takers, Nathan said, AD costs the United States nearly $226 billion as an annual cost of caring.

At the moment, there is no cure for AD, nor is there a method of prevention. The only drugs that exist specifically for AD are purely symptomatic and are not able to slow the progression of the disease.

Nathan’s presentation is sponsored by the EIU chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

For more information contact Kyrsten Holderby, president, ASBMB – SA, at kfholderby@eiu.edu; or Gopal Periyannan, faculty adviser, ASBMB – SA, at grperiyannan@eiu.edu or 217-581-6379.

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