Wake Forest Baptist Funding Helps Alzheimer’s Research

Wake Forest Baptist Funding Helps Alzheimer’s Research

9:23pm Aug 13, 2015
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center says the joint venture with Vidant Health of Greenville and WakeMed of Raleigh will help cut costs by sharing services and provide more buying power for supplies.
Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has received nearly $3.5 million dollars to support work in aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The donated funds will be used for patient care and research initiatives to advance Wake Forest Baptist’s Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine program. One of them involves a study about the affects of two types of diets on the brain

“We are looking at one that is high on healthy fats, such as olive oil and a more traditional diet to improve heart health that restricts fats but focuses on healthy sugars and healthy carbohydrates,” says Dr. Suzanne Craft, a professor of medicine at the center.

But one of the most promising studies they’re conducting involves a nasal insulin spray.

We have developed a very novel way of getting insulin to the brain by administering it through the nose,” says Craft.  “We’re carrying out clinical trials in which we provide this nasal insulin to patients or we give them an inactive substance. In our studies to date we have been able to observe a rather significant improvement in their memory or thinking when we treat them with insulin.”

Craft says the insulin trials will continue for the next couple of years, and if they’re as promising as their earlier studies, Wake Forest Baptist will ask the FDA for approval.

She says funding for studies like these is extremely important in the state, because North Carolina’s Alzheimer’s rate is expected to nearly double over the next 15 years.

According to the state division of aging and adult services, there are currently more than 170,000 older adults with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia.

*Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.

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