Researching Cures for Disease

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Amy Jenner, Pfizer’s vice president of commercial operations, says her father’s life was extended 20 years because of medical research and advances in heart disease, strokes and cancer. He was able to spend quality time with his 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren before he passed away from Alzheimer's.

Amy and Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall join The Doctors to discuss research the company is conducting to try to develop cures for diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

ER physician Dr. Travis Stork explains that Alzheimer’s is a progressively debilitating disease that leads to loss of memory and other brain functions, mood and behavior changes, disorientation and confusion, as well as difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking. People with Alzheimer’s are at increased risk of developing infections, pneumonia and malnutrition.

Dr. Lewis-Hall says developing a cure for Alzheimer's has proven especially challenging, because the disease affects the brain, the most complex organ in the body. She also explains that once patients start experiencing symptoms, the disease already has taken hold. The challenge for researchers is to find a way to identify the disease early and stop it from progressing.

Dr. Lewis-Hall encourages people to advocate for research, raise money through charity runs and other activities, and when possible, volunteer for clinical trials to help further research efforts.

For more information about Pfizer’s research and development, visit