Episode 98

Alzheimer’s Disease: From Despair to Hope with Prof Ralph Martins


March 7th, 2023

56 mins 52 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

*The information in this podcast is intended for Healthcare Practitioners.

Alzheimer’s disease is a devasting illness that robs patients of quality and quantity of life and is the leading cause of death in women. Alzheimer’s is also the most feared condition in middle to older age adults. This may be in part due to fact, to date, there is little to no evidence that pharmaceutical intervention can slow, let alone reverse, the condition once established. Despite the current pessimistic outlook, there is a growing body of evidence that Alzheimer’s can be prevented, slowed, and potentially reversed. Joining the podcast is a juggernaut in Alzheimer’s research, Prof Ralph Martins. For over three decades Prof Martins has explored Alzheimer’s from all angles – and the future looks promising.

In this episode Prof Martins discusses the central role of beta amyloid in Alzheimer’s, whilst touching upon some concerns of its clinical utility. Further, Prof Martins reveals some emerging biomarkers that may be a game changer in the near future. Prof Martin then describes powerful, yet not widely appreciated risk factors, namely hearing loss and poor sleep. The conversation also explores the role of APOE in Alzheimer’s and findings from his research on dietary factors linked to neuroprotection. Despite the size of the problem, the details in the podcast and Prof Martins' energy and passion should leave listeners with confidence positive change is on the horizon.

Professor Ralph Martins is the Foundation Chair in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease at Edith Cowan University. His collaborative seminal research involved isolating and characterising beta-amyloid and its precursor, the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which are now recognised as central to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. He was the first to propose and demonstrate that the Alzheimer brain was under oxidative stress, which is now widely recognized by the Alzheimer research community. Ralph's current research interests are focused on understanding the mechanisms and factor(s) leading to the abnormal release and deposition of βA4 in Alzheimer's disease.

Useful Links:

Australian Alzheimer’s research foundation https://alzheimers.com.au/

Lions Alzheimer’s Foundation https://lionsalzheimersfoundation.com.au/\

The Australian Imaging, Biomarker & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL) https://aibl.csiro.au/