Curing Alzheimer's.

  • Videos

About this work


This Horizon Special explores significant contemporary advances in Alzheimer’s prevention research, and introduces five people whose lives are overshadowed by the disease. To begin, Professor Nick Fox and Dr Eric Reiman explain how Alzheimer’s Disease develops in the brain. Next, the programme visits a family in Medellin, Columbia with the largest-known line of hereditary early-onset Alzheimer’s. Reiman explains a groundbreaking Alzheimer’s prevention drugs trial he is conducting. Next, the mutated gene APOE 4 is explained, and Jamie, a woman from Phoenix, Arizona who suspects that her family carry the gene, is introduced. Reiman and colleague, Dr Jessica Langbaum explain APOE 4 further. Jamie explains the results of a DNA test she conducted. Langbaum explains how clinical trials can now be given to individuals that are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Dr Francisco Lopera discusses his research using human subjects’ brains to investigate the disease. He exhibits a piece of Rodrigo’s brain - a deceased member of the Columbian family previously mentioned. Next, Tom Jarvis is introduced, who developed a rare form of Alzheimer’s, which was misdiagnosed for two years. Fox exhibits Jarvis’ brain scans to illustrate how Alzheimer’s develops over time, and the pitfalls of diagnosing the disease in its early stages. Fox tests Jarvis’ visual processing abilities and memory. He then undergoes a lumbar puncture in order to gain samples of cerebrospinal fluid containing Tau. Jarvis is examined in an MRI scanner. Professor Matthew Walker explains how deep sleep could help stave off Alzheimer’s. Next, Professor Maiken Nedergaard explains her research into how deep sleep affects the development of Alzheimer’s, and explains the glymphatic system. Walker puts a young subject through a number of tests to measure his facial recognition skills. He is shown being fitted with an electromagnetic brain stimulator. Reiman talks about how a heart-protecting diet is linked to staving off Alzheimer’s. Professor Richard Wurtman explains the benefits of choline, DHA, and uridine in food. Professor Linda Clare discusses brain training exercises. Next, Garreth Hulston is introduced, who is taking part in a trial run by Clare, exploring cognitive training for people with Alzheimer’s. Therapist Sue Evans observes Hulston conducting everyday tasks. Dr Alfred Sandrock explains new data that has been shaping the world of Alzheimer’s research. Reiman describes the drug crenezumab. Neil Corkery recounts being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. To conclude, the drug aducanumab is described, and the future of Alzheimer’s treatment research is discussed.



Physical description

1 DVD (60 min.) : sound, colour ; 12 cm.

Copyright note

BBC Science Production.


Originally broadcast on 11th May 2016 on BBC 2.

Creator/production credits

Produced and directed by Charles Colville.
Narrated by Sue Johnston.



Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores

Permanent link