Today, as neuroscientists worldwide pursue remedies for Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss, a half century of findings by Eric Kandel (age 87), a professor of neuroscience, psychiatry, biochemistry, and biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center are considered indispensable. Despite the Dr. Kandel’s extensive research, there remains so much that is unknown about the human brain. “Look, I’ve been in the field for sixty years,” says Kandel. “We’ve made a lot of progress. But we’re at the beginning.” According to a recent article in Columbia Magazine (“Your Beautiful Brain”), substantive therapies for Alzheimer’s in particular are “poised for success,” says a colleague of Kandel’s for thirty-five years. “We’re on the cusp of making a difference.” But accompanying that claim is a caveat; the fledgling remedies are not panaceas. “We’re not necessarily talking about curing the disease,” he says. “But we are talking about slowing the symptomatic progression of the disease so significantly that lifestyles are improved in a dramatic way.
For everyone who has watch a love one decline due to Alzheimer’s, let’s hope new treatments are soon discovered.