Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation Awards Major Research Gift for FTD Biomarkers Initiative

Oct 06, 2015, 11:51 ET from Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Thursday, October 1, before a hopeful crowd of more than 200 at One World Trade Center in New York City, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc. announced a $5.75 million gift to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) for a multi-year FTD Biomarkers Initiative.

Biomarkers are key measures used to diagnose patients and measure a treatment's effectiveness. This investment will allow AFTD to fund innovative biomarker research through awards to FTD biomarker research in the neurodegenerative disease field, building on the knowledge that the first biomarker for Alzheimer's was approved by the FDA just 20 months ago.

"Making this gift is personal to me," said Donald Newhouse, President of Advance Publications, Inc. "My wife Suzy was diagnosed in 2005 and succumbed to this terrible disease in August of this year, and about two years ago my brother, Si, too was diagnosed with FTD," he said.

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"The lack of FTD biomarkers is a major hurdle to an accurate diagnosis and conducting drug trials," said David S. Knopman, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who chairs AFTD's Medical Advisory Council. "Identifying biomarkers will foster greater attention to FTD by both the academic research community and the pharmaceutical industry, and enable researchers to direct specific therapies to the right patients."

AFTD has recruited an expert panel from across the field of neurodegenerative diseases to guide this initiative. It is expected to launch in January 2016.

About The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD)
AFTD is a Radnor, PA-based national non-profit working to improve the quality of life of people affected by Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) and to drive research to a cure. For more information, visit, or connect via or

About Frontotemporal Dementia
FTD is the most common dementia for adults under the age of 60.  As FTD progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to plan or organize activities, behave appropriately in social or work settings, interact with others, and care for themselves, resulting in increasing dependency on caregivers. Roughly 60 percent of cases occur in people 45 to 64 years old, thus FTD can impact work and family in a way that dementia in older patients does not.

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SOURCE Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration