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Barry W. Rovner, MD

Contact Dr. Rovner

900 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-1254
(215) 503-1992 fax

Research and Clinical Interests

Alzheimer's Disease; Age-Related Macular Degeneration

What Are Promising Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease (AD)?
AD is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by aberrant production, processing, or clearance of toxic amyloid (Aß) oligomers. Pathologically, it is characterized by synaptic loss, neurofibrillary tangles, diffuse amyloid deposits, amyloid plaques, amyloid angiopathy, and neuronal loss. Possible mechanisms of cell death include inflammation, free radical formation, and oxidative damage.

The Farber Institute's clinical site tests the efficacy and safety of investigative, symptomatic and disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer's disease. We focus on drugs that reduce the production (secretase inhibitors) or enhance the clearance (humanized monoclonal antibodies) of the Aß fragment. We draw subjects from the large patient population seeking treatment at The Farber Institute's Alzheimer's Disease Center for Research and Care.

How Can We Help People with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

A second Farber Institute research focus is testing novel psychosocial interventions to prevent depression and improve function in older persons with AMD. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, affects 10 million people and is a growing public health problem as the population ages. Depression is a frequent, painful consequence of AMD that necessitates integrating disease management strategies for both conditions. We have developed behavioral interventions to increase self efficacy (i.e., reframing "unsolvable" problems into goal directed tasks that can be solved) and to promote active problem-solving rather than avoidant coping strategies.

This work is critical to the overall health system as it attempts to care for the growing population of older adults with multiple chronic diseases.

I hope that my findings will be used to find better ways to treat patients with two highly prevalent, disabling diseases of age.