British neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli first set out to study Alzheimer's because of his grandfather, who developed the disease when Jebelli was 12.
In the years that followed, Jebelli watched as his grandfather's memory started to disappear. But Jebelli points out that although a certain amount of memory loss is a natural part of aging, what happened to his grandfather and to other Alzheimer's patients is different.
"Losing your keys, forgetting where you put your glasses, is completely normal," he says. "But when you find your glasses and your keys and you think, 'What are these for?' — that's a sign that there's something else going on, that it's not just a memory loss."
Though there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, Jebelli is optimistic about current research involving neural stem cells and cell regeneration.
"Just the last few years alone have seen some serious breakthroughs in Alzheimer's research," he says. "Ten years should be enough time for us to develop, if not a cure, certainly a much better treatment than what we have at the moment."