Quest for Alzheimer's Cure Gains Momentum for Researcher at College of Staten Island

Dec 07, 2010, 15:19 ET from College of Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A Staten Island, N.Y.-based scientist has attracted supporters in her quest to a find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

"It is important to look at problems from a researcher's perspective," said Dr. Alejandra Alonso, an associate professor with the College of Staten Island (City University of New York) Department of Biology.

Two grants totaling $330,000, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Alzheimer's Association, were recently awarded to Dr. Alonso, whose own family has been impacted by the disease.

It's hoped her innovative research will contribute to a cure, or a delay in the onset, of Alzheimer's disease, which today plagues more than 5 million U.S. residents.

Without new discoveries in the battle against the disease, that figure likely will soar to 16 million Americans by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

In one New York City borough alone, the Staten Island Alzheimer's Foundation in 2010 has assisted over 19,000 Alzheimer's patients and their families.

Supported by a team of CSI doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers, Dr. Alonso is seeking to define the cause of the disease through enhanced study of tau proteins, which in Alzheimer's patients contribute to the death of brain cells.

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SOURCE College of Staten Island