Find updates on the work of our researchers here, as well as news about recent advances in Alzheimer's science, funding and awareness.

CDC Reports Life Expectancy down a bit, but death from Alzheimer’s up 7.5%

The report released on December 9, 2010 by the National Center for health Statistics compares mortality statistics for major diseases between 2007 and 2008 with notes about longer running trends. Alzheimer’s disease remains the #6 cause of death, but jumped 7.5% in the number of deaths between 2007 and 2008. The report also noted that the death rate increased more than 14% from 2003 to 2008.

Several of the leading causes of death saw declines, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, homicide and accidents. Infant mortality dropped about 2%. But increases were seen in Alzheimer’s, flue and pneumonia, high blood pressure, suicide and kidney disease, with Alzheimer’s leading the increases.

The full report can be found at

This disturbing statistic for Alzheimer’s disease should not come as a surprise. Diagnosis and reporting are getting better, and as other causes of death begin to decline, we live longer and are more subject to diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s. Plus pure demographics is working against us; the baby boomers are now entering the age where Alzheimer’s becomes apparent.  Approximately 10% of those aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s; for those 85 and older, the number comes close to half.

While keeping the pressure on to find the causes of and treat these other terrible diseases, we need to regard the Alzheimer’s increase as a clear not-so-early warning that without effective intervention soon, the disease will simply overwhelm us --- our health care systems, our families and an our own and our country’s ability to pay for the care that will be required.

And yet, research budgets at the National Institutes of Health and its National Institute of Aging specifically, continue to erode. We are not facing up to this problem and will pay dearly for it in the not-too-distant future.

Privately funded research can help through focused, strategic pursuit of the real causes of the disease to then accelerate development of effective therapies. But only the government has the resources at sufficient scale to break the back of this disease.

All of us can help by first, contributing to effective, results-oriented private research; and second, by insisting that our elected national officials increase the public’s investment in Alzheimer’s research.

This CDC report should serve as a clarion call to action. If our public officials have either ignored this epidemic until now, or regarded it as “just another problem we have to face”, this report should help order priorities and increase the sense of urgency  around doing all we can to stop this disease.

Raising Money for Research by Climbing in Antarctica

Alan Arnette is in Antarctica climbing Mt. Vinson as part of his 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's. Check out his first audio dispatch as he describes his flight in and the pristine snowy landscape of summer near the south pole. It's hard to imagine that it's light all day right now in Antarctica, while at Cure Alzheimer's Fund's main office just outside Boston, it's dark by 5 p.m.

Listen to the dispatch>

Read updates and progress about the Mt. Vinson climb>

Read more about The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything>

Alan is attempting to climb the highest peak on each continent as part of a campaign to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's research. Every penny donated to Arnette’s quest will go to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund to support research. The cost of the climbs is being covered by the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. Weather and technology permitting, Alan will be dispatching reports via Twitter and on his blog during his climb. So stay tuned!

Alot of Good Science, Not Enough Funding

Cure Alzheimer's Fund co-founder Phyllis Rappaport hit a key point when interviewed this week by Joe Crankshaw in the Treasure Coast Palm, there isn't enough funding for Alzheimer's research, even though there is a lot of good science that needs to be supported.

Rappaport explains:

We understand so much more about Alzheimer's now then even just four years ago. We have more science then we have money, we have so many avenues to pursue. But this has been an exciting month. The National Neuroscience convention has just ended, and having top scientists discussing our projects and bouncing ideas off each other is exciting.

She also spoke about the devestating impact of Alzheimer's disease and hope for progress with more awareness and funding.

Read the article>



Off to the Coldest Spot on Earth!

After several years of planning, Alan Arnette is off to the first mountain of his 7 Summits Climb. His first climb is Mount Vinson in Antartica which is one of the coldest places on the planet (so maybe not the coldest spot on the earth!).

Follow his progress on his website>

Spry Living also just featured Alan, his campaign and efforts to raise money for a cure in a piece title Climbing for Alzheimer's and it's Caregivers>

Bon Voyage Alan and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ending Alzheimer's by 2020 - Podcast

Bob DeMarco is featuring a podcast entitled, Rudy Tanzi The Plan to End Alzheimer's by 2020, on his website, the Alzheimer's Reading Room. We encourage you to listen to the podcast, as Bob writes:

"Please listen to Dr. Tanzi's words carefully. You might want to listen more than once to get a good understanding of his approach, plan, and a clear understanding of why he is optimistic."

The Alzheimer's Reading Room is a terrific source of information for the entire Alzheimer's community. The blog focuses on those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's caregivers, and the art of Alzheimer's caregiving.

To listen to the podcast on the Alzheimer's Reading Room site click here>



Did you miss Cure Alzheimer's Fund on NPR?

Take a moment for this excellent work reporting on our progress and explaining the important steps needed to get to a cure. Co-Founder and Chairman, Jeff Morby and Research Consortium Chair, Rudy Tanzi were also interviewed by Emily Rooney on Greater Boston and by Mindy Todd on The Point and featured in the Cape Cod Times.


Click here to listen to Parts One and Two of Venture Philanthropy: An Investors Approach to Curing Alzheimer's>


Watch the Greater Boston tv show>

Listen to The Point>

Read The Brain is their Business in the Cape Cod Times>


Climbing Mountains for a Cure

Alan Arnette was featured yesterday on Fox channel 43 announcing his 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything.

In this year-long challegne, Alan will attempt the highest summit on each continent. He's featured in this live clip explaining that he's taking on this challenge in honor and memory of his mother, Ida, who had AD and his desire to help eliminate this terrible disease. All funds raised will go to Cure Alzheimer's Fund.

Read more about Alan and this campaign ->

Support Alan's campaign for research>

Scaling Heights to Cure Alzheimer’s

Mountaineer to Raise Awareness and Research Funding for Alzheimer’s by Climbing the Highest Summit on the World’s Seven Continents


Boston, Mass – Embarking on a year-long challenge that he hopes will end at the top of the Carstensz Pyramid, mountain climber and Alzheimer’s disease advocate Alan Arnette will take on the greater challenge of raising money for research and public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth most deadly disease.

“The mental and physical demands of scaling seemingly insurmountable peaks are not unlike the everyday challenges faced by those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers,” said Arnette, who cared for his mother with Alzheimer’s until her death last year. “Both involve understanding personal limitations, reaching out for support and taking steps daily on a very long road.”

All of the money Arnette raises on his year-long campaign - The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything - will go to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund™, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for targeted research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. is funding Arnette’s climbs. To support Arnette in raising funds for Cure Alzheimer’s Fund please visit

“Research is the key to solving the complexities of Alzheimer’s disease and Alan Arnette’s courageous fundraising efforts will help the Alzheimer’s community come one step closer to finding a cure,” said Tim Armour, President of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund™.

“What are our life experiences and adventures about if not to create life-long memories that we can share and embellish, year after year, with friends and family? Memories are everything,” said Arnette, whose high-altitude climbs can be followed on and

An accomplished climber, Arnette retired from his job with a leading technology company to care for his mother, Ida, when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then, 54-year-old advocate has worked to raise money for this disease that has no known cure. With The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s, he hopes to raise awareness of the impact of the disease and is also striving to raise $1 million for research.

Arnette departs on the first of his seven climbs on November 24, 2010. The first peak is the 16,067-foot (4897 meter) Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica. By December 2011, he intends to reach the summits of:

  • Aconcagua, Argentina, South America – 22,841ft/6,926 m
  • Everest, Nepal, Asia – 29,035 ft/8,850 m
  • Denali, Alaska, North America – 20,320 ft/6,194 m
  • Elbrus, Russia, Europe – 18,481 ft/5,633 m
  • Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa – 19,340 ft/ 5,896 m
  • Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia, Oceania – 16,023 ft/4,884 m

Arnette is also taking on the extended challenge of climbing an eighth mountain, Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia, which is part of the Oceania continent.

Cure Alzheimer's Fund on WGBH's Greater Boston

Cure Alzheimer's Fund co-founer, Jeff Morby and Research Consortium Chairman, Rudy Tanzi were featured on the tv show Greater Boston, November 8th on WGBH channel 2 in Boston. Emily Rooney interviewed the two about the founding of Cure Alzheimer's Fund and success in the search for an Alzheimer's Cure.

Watch the Greater Boston show>

Mindy Todd also interviewed Rudy Tanzi and Jeff Morby on a live radio interview aired on NPR's The Point.

Listen to the The Point: Alzheimer's interview>


NPR Features Cure Alzheimer's Fund

Cure Alzheimer's Fund was featured this morning in a two-part segment on National Public Radio. The piece details the founding of Cure Alzheimer's Fund, our venture approach  and some of the science that is providing the way to a cure. WGBH in Boston introduced the piece:

For more than five million patients and their estimated ten million caregivers, Alzheimer's disease is a scourge, a memory-stealing, brain-clogging affliction that costs the United States more than $170 billion a year, though its true impact on the lives of American families is incalculable.

In the first installment of our 2-part series, "Venture Philanthropy: An Investor's Approach to Curing Alzheimer's," reporter Sean Corcoran introduces us to a small group of local business leaders who are using their proven investment techniques — and their personal fortunes — to assemble what they believe are the world's most promising researchers to slow, stop or reverse the disease.

Listen to Venture Philanthropy Part One: A Business Approach to Curing Alzheimer's Disease>

Listen to Venture Philanthropy Part Two: Wanted a Man on the Moon Project to Cure Alzheimer's Disease>

Read the WGBH article Mass. Venture Capitalists Invest in Alzheimer's Research>