EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 1 PM ET, January 24, 2013
SAN DIEGO – The American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation are awarding the 2013 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases to William J. Jagust, MD, with the University of California, Berkeley, Michael W. Weiner, MD, with the San Francisco VA Medical Center in San Francisco and Eric M. Reiman, MD, with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix. Jagust, Weiner and Reiman will receive the award during the Academy’s 65th Annual Meeting, March 16-23, 2013, in San Diego. The Annual Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of neurologists with more than 10,000 attendees and more than 2,300 scientific presentations on the latest research advances in brain disease. The Potamkin Prize honors researchers for their work in helping to advance the understanding of Pick’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. The $100,000 prize is an internationally recognized tribute for advancing dementia research. Jagust is receiving the Potamkin Prize for his research on beta-amyloid, or plaques in the brain, which are a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease. Jagust used brain imaging techniques in his studies that help outline amyloid protein and its effects on the brain. “I am extremely honored to be in the company of so many outstanding scientists who have previously received this award, as well as my co-recipients,” said Jagust. “Results from our experiments suggest different ways of thinking about the Alzheimer’s disease process and how to best treat it.” Weiner is receiving the Potamkin Prize for standardizing imaging and biomarker tests to find better ways to detect and diagnose Alzheimer's disease. Weiner helped form the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), which was the first to perform amyloid PET imaging brain scans at multiple sites across the United States. Today, amyloid PET imaging is widely available for diagnosis and use in clinical trials. “The methods developed by ADNI are now considered the standard for clinical trials. Over 1,000 subjects have been enrolled and followed in ADNI. ADNI has led to more than 300 scientific papers, and ADNI projects are ongoing in many countries around the world. I am so grateful to receive this award,” said Weiner. The Potamkin Prize is being awarded to Reiman for his efforts to characterize some of the earliest brain changes associated with the predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease, accelerate the evaluation of promising prevention therapies and help establish the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative. “I am grateful for the opportunity to help launch a new era in Alzheimer’s prevention research and seek treatments to end this devastating disease without losing another generation,” Reiman said. “It has been a privilege to work with my research colleagues, collaborators and other outstanding individuals in the pursuit of our shared goals.” The Potamkin Prize is made possible by the philanthropic contributions of the Potamkin family of Colorado, Philadelphia and Miami. The goal of the prize is to help attract the best medical minds and most dedicated scientists in the world to the field of dementia research. The Potamkin family has been the Academy’s single largest individual donor since 1988, providing more than $2.5 million to fund the Potamkin Prize. Learn more about Pick’s, Alzheimer’s disease and related diseases at www.aan.com/patients.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. The American Brain Foundation, the foundation of the American Academy of Neurology, supports vital research and education to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for brain and other nervous system diseases. Learn more at http://www.CureBrainDisease.org.