Two Potamkin Prize Winners — On Finding the Gene for ALS and Frontotemporal Dementia

In this article in Neurology Today, two scientists – Rosa Rademakers, PhD, and Bryan Traynor, MD, PhD – who started their careers studying very different diseases, ended up at the same genetic address and making a discovery that has changed conventional wisdom about two seemingly disparate conditions: frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). They discuss their separate efforts and findings here.

How Activity Level May Help People Living With FTD

Featured on BBC Sport, the activity level of people battling dementia is explored. Specifically, the story of Malcolm Watt, a professional tennis player prior to being diagnosed with dementia aged 42, is told. It explains how although he has lost his ability to communicate, he can still play tennis like a pro. Read the entire article here.

Founding Member of The Beastie Boys, Passes Away From FTD

John Berry, an original member of hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died Thursday morning, May 19th, at 7:30 a.m. at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts. He had been battling FTD, which had worsened in the previous months before his passing. He was 52. Berry is credited with naming the group, Beastie Boys when they were teenagers. The group formed in July 1981, with Berry and Diamond joined by Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach. Berry left the group soon after in 1983. Read the entire article here.

The Lauder and Newhouse Foundations Announce New Initiative to Find Treatments for FTD

AFTD is excited to share that The Lauder Foundation and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation have each committed $5 million to create The Treat FTD Fund, which will accelerate clinical trials for FTD over the next decade. The fund, a joint program of AFTD and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), has the potential to advance treatments for other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s. Read the press release, and see coverage of the announcement from

Minneapolis-based Children’s Author, Nancy Carlson to Give Keynote at AFTD Conference

On May 10th, AFTD announced they would hold their 2016 education conference in Minneapolis, MN, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, on Friday, May 13. It will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner reception. Each year, AFTD hosts this important conference so that people impacted by FTD can meet in person and share resources and information. Hundreds of FTD experts, researchers, medical professionals, caregivers and persons diagnosed gather to make this annual event one of crucial importance for all impacted by FTD. The full press release can be seen here.