Understanding Alzheimer’s disease

by | January 17, 2020

Calling for entries to expand understanding and explanation of Alzheimer’s disease.

An estimated 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia at a cost of US$1 trillion to the global economy, according to the World Alzheimer Report 2018 by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). By year 2050, that population is expected to more than triple.

To expand the understanding and explanation of Alzheimer’s disease, US businessman James Truchard has given a US$5 million gift to The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Sciences to establish the Oskar Fischer Prize. Oskar Fischer was a Czech academic, psychiatrist and neuropathologist who studied dementia and Alzheimer’s disease more than a century ago. The initiative will engage the world’s brightest minds in a comprehensive literature review with the goal of synthesising that information into one explanation for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, taking a new systems approach to the research on Alzheimer’s, building on the work Oskar Fischer started over a century ago.

“Billions of dollars have been spent on research and potential cures for Alzheimer’s disease since Oskar Fischer’s seminal work, and yet we still do not have a fundamental understanding of what causes it and therefore how to treat it,” said Truchard. “The Oskar Fischer Prize will establish an international forum to assess that work and bring forward an explanation for the disease using a systematic approach.”

The challenge will award up to US$4 million in Oskar Fischer Prizes, including a grand prize of US$2 million, two second place prizes of US$500,000 each and four third place prizes of US$250,000 each. Collectively, the monetary awards are the world’s largest prizes of their kind.

The call for entries will open through December 15, 2020. UTSA will work closely with an interdisciplinary committee of outstanding scientists from Texas, US, and around the world to award the Oskar Fischer Prizes in the Spring of 2021. For more information on the Prizes, go to: https://oskarfischerprize.com.


(** PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash/Lennon Cheng)



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