19 Dec 2015

Understanding Alzheimer's

From This Way Up, 12:35 pm on 19 December 2015
John Hardy

John Hardy Photo: Supplied

Alzheimer's disease is an incurable neurological condition that affects 35 million people worldwide. Almost 30,000 New Zealanders live with the disease, and there are predictions this figure will double over the next 15 years as we age.

But our understanding of what actually causes Alzheimer's and how it develops is still unclear. so finding a cure or a way to prevent it has been tricky.

Professor John Hardy is a British brain scientist whose work was recognised last month with a US$3 million (NZ$4.5 million) award from some of the biggest names in the world of technology.

He talks with Simon Morton about what he's learnt about the genetic basis of Alzheimer's and treatments for it from studying the brains of sufferers.