Stuart Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., has been honored by the San Diego/Imperial Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association with its 2013 Courage and Hope Award. The recognition was bestowed at the chapter’s “A Celebration of Courage and Hope” gala on September 19 at the U.S. Grant Hotel.
Lipton, a member of the chapter’s 30-member Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, received the award in the “Researcher” category for his groundbreaking work on Alzheimer’s disease at Sanford-Burnham’s Del. E. Webb Center. On June 17, he reported the development of the first experimental drug to boost brain synapses lost in Alzheimer’s disease. His research findings about the drug, called NitroMemantine, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS).
“Although a great honor, it is also humbling and even embarrassing to receive such an award since we have not yet cured Alzheimer’s,” said Lipton. “However, at least in animal models, the new drug NitroMemantine appears to be a vast improvement on the FDA-approved drug memantine (Namenda®), which our group previously developed. Unlike memantine, NitroMemantine restores synapses to their normal number and improves cognition. Since the number of synapses is the best correlate to cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients, this new drug holds real promise to be disease-modifying and hence really impact the disease process.”
The other two 2013 Courage and Hope award recipients are Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador Ken Darling, who was honored in the “Caregiver” category, and NBC7 sportscaster Jim Lazlavic, who was honored in the “Awareness” category.