CFR Research Featured in The New York Times

Consortium for Frontotemporal Dementia Research (CFR) Investigators Dr. Bruce Miller and Li Gan were recently featured prominently in two New York Times articles about frontotemporal dementia.

One article, “When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger,” describes the challenges a Manhattan couple, the Frenches, faced before and after Mr. French was diagnosed, 5 years ago at age 66, with frontotemporal dementia. With a description of the unusual episodes and behavioral changes that eventually led to her husband’s diagnosis, and their journey together as his disease progressed, Ms. French’s story highlights the frustration, anger and sadness that often accompanies a loved one’s diagnosis.

The article also highlighted recent advances in frontotemporal dementia research led, in part, by private funding sources like the Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia. CFR Clinical Research Director and Director of UCSF’s Memory and Aging Center, Dr. Bruce Miller, said, “There’s really been an explosion related to the biology. I think at least some subtypes of frontotemporal dementia will be the first neurodegenerative diseases we find a cure for.”

Indeed, the companion article, “Studies Tie Abnormal Protein Build-up to Dementia,” details the recent discovery by CFR Investigator Dr. Li Gan that the drug nimodipine may raise progranulin levels in mice. Mutations in progranulin that reduce the level of this protein are one cause of frontotemporal dementia. Therefore, restoring progranulin levels in patients with progranulin mutations may be one potentially beneficial therapeutic approach. These studies were funded by the Consortium for FTD Research, a Bluefield Project-funded initiative to find a cure for frontotemporal dementia. While this approach is still in the earliest stages, CFR Investigators are planning for preliminary tests in humans possibly as early as next year.

For more information, please contact The Bluefield Project President, Dr. Rodney Pearlman.