On Saturday, Dr. William Henrich, president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, will announce a new Institute for Alzheimer and Neurodegenerative Disease. He is expected to make the announcement during the 2015 President’s Gala held Saturday evening at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio.
The institute is supported by $35 million raised primarily from the community, according to a news release. It will include diagnostics, Alzheimer specialists, specialists for Parkinson’s and other diseases, support for caregivers and access to new therapies via clinical trials, according to the release.
“As one of America’s leading academic health centers, we must serve our community’s health-related needs,” Dr. Henrich said in a news release. “The time is now to focus on new discoveries, treatments and auxiliary services to help those suffering from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease.”
The UT Health Science Center will staff the institute with its faculty specialists and will recruit others experts, according to Dr. Francisco González-Scarano, dean of the School of Medicine, vice president for medical affairs and a neurologist at the Health Science Center. It is scheduled to open next year and it will be located at the Medical Arts & Research Center of UT Medicine San Antonio.
In addition to the Institute, Dr. Henrich plans to announce the establishment of the Bartell and Mollie Zachry Endowment for Alzheimer Research and Patient Care. Proceeds of the President’s Gala totaling $600,000 will go to the endowment.
The need for the Institute is great. By 2025, the number of Americans age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to reach 7.1 million, a 40 percent increase from today. In Texas, the number of residents with the disease is projected to increase 48.5 percent, from 330,000 in 2014 to 490,000 in 2025.