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Fight against Alzheimer's: Governor's proposal would map genes of one million

Posted at 11:42 PM, Feb 21, 2020

(WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a new tool in the fight against Alzheimer's. It's called "SUNY Curing Alzheimer's Health Consortium." Cuomo wants to spend five years mapping one million people both suffering from and at-risk of developing the disease.

"And then we will work with SUNY's research institutions, as well as our other research institutions across the state to develop treatments and therapies," Elizabeth Garvey, Special Counsel and Senior Advisor to Governor Cuomo, said.

Empire State Development life science initiative will lend $20 million in funding to recruit 200,000 people for phase one.

"This looks to be a very ambitious program, but one that is very complimentary to the other programs," Dr. Bruce Troen said. He is Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, as well as the Director of Centers of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease both at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He also works at the Buffalo VA Medical Center.

"Hopefully this will law the foundation for ongoing investigation," he said. Dr. Troen said this proposal is just a piece of the bigger pie. It's not an immediate answer or a cure.

"New York state in taking the lead has been really doing this at a clinical services standpoint, but now it's helping to plant a stake in the ground to say they also want to support research," he said. Gene mapping can play an important role in determining risk factors. The Governor's Office said at the end of this consortium, the data base will be free to use for further research.

"Knowledge is king here...anticipation and prevention is going to help us," he said.

If approved, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo will participate.