Cuomo amends budget to include Alzheimer’s gene mapping project


In this Aug. 14, 2019 photo provided by the University of Kentucky, Donna Wilcock, of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, holds a brain in her lab in Lexington, Ky. She says that contrary to popular perception, “there are a lot of changes that happen in the aging brain that lead to dementia in addition to plaques and tangles.” (Mark Cornelison/University of Kentucky via AP)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In an amendment to his 2021 budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed an initiative on Friday to create a State University of New York Curing Alzheimer’s Health Consortium. The Consortium would collect and map genetic data to help researchers slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.

“Genomics have made significant progress in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease, and could present major breakthroughs in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.” -Statement from Gov. Cuomo

Cuomo would partner with the SUNY system and Empire State Development’s Life Sciences initiative, which will provide $20 million to help fund phase one of the project.

Over five years, researchers would map the genes of a million people who live with or are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. They’ll identify which genes can predict the disease, and attempt to develop new treatments, therapies, and cures.

According to the Department of Health, roughly 390,000 New Yorkers had an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2017. The department expects that number to reach 460,000 in the next five years.

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