Here is another article about things going on around Rochester.

Whether it’s apparent yet or not, odds are most people know at least one person with dementia or Alzheimer’s. As the number of cases continues to increase, the exposure that dementia receives is growing as well. Because of this, researchers around the globe are working to find a cure or at least preventative measures for those at risk.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center Newsroom, an assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing and the Department of Psychiatry Feng (Vankee) Lin, PhD, R.N., has received a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). The $2 million grant will allow Lin and researchers to conduct a study to determine if they can lower an individual’s risk of dementia through a computer-based training program.

The four-year study will test adults 60 years or older who have been clinically diagnosed with a mild cognitive impairment (MCI) through a series of computer-based exercises designed to simulate real-world activities. The hope is that vision-based speed of processing (VSOP) cognitive training will help prevent cognitive decline.

“I’m passionate about this field of nursing research because the needs are very urgent due to our aging population,” said Lin. “Computerized training could be a very promising tool that individuals and families can draw from in their fight against cognitive decline and the development of dementia.”

With nearly 44 million suffering from Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia throughout the world — 25,000 of which reside in the Finger Lakes region alone — never has it been more important to find some solutions. Baltimore reports that another grant spread over five years and totaling up to $7.2 million from the NIH has been awarded to a Johns Hopkins startup to study the effects of a new drug called AGB101. Instead of brain exercises, researchers at AgeneBio have opted to go a more traditional path.

In a phase two trial, the low-dose version of a drug used to treat epilepsy was found to restore some brain function and memory in patients suffering from MCI.

The phase three trials will consist of a two year study of the effects of the drug. The mastermind of the treatment, Michelle Gallagher, founder of AgeneBio, is hoping to put an end to this crisis.

With a growing population and an increase of dementia in the older generations, a cure or preventative measure for the disease could save millions of lives, whether it comes from a computer or a drug.