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MORE FROM THE WEAVER LAB

Although our focus is on the design and development of new chemical entities as curative therapeutics for the treatment of dementia, we realize that neurological diseases are complex, affecting the lives not only of their victims but also their families.  Accordingly, we have multiple other side-projects, including:

We have ongoing research projects to devise therapeutics for other neurological disorders, other than Alzheimer’s.  These disorders include Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  Many of these disorders are protein misfolding diseases, analogous to Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of the challenges in developing drugs for AD, efforts should be made to minimize all risk factors, thereby reducing the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Head trauma is a known risk factor for dementia, but head trauma associated with domestic violence is an understudied risk factor for dementia.  The relationship between domestic violence and dementia is complex.  Some people with dementia are abused, others are abusive, still, others may be demented because they were abused.  We have research interests in identifying and minimizing this risk factor for AD.

Clinical trials for AD have a long track-record of failure.  In addition to the compounds not being effective is the possibility that the trials are flawed.  We have been studying the role of “hidden variables” (e.g. language, diet, hobbies, etc) as variables typically not considered in clinical trials for dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than its victim, it is truly a disease that affects the entire family.  These families need support and understanding.  D. Weaver has been writing “therapeutic poems” and short stories to help families suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  Several of these have been published.