Amalia Bruni, the researcher who discovered the Alzheimer’s gene: “No funds for me in Lamezia”


If research on Alzheimer’s disease has accelerated in recent years, it is due to Calabrian scientist Amalia Bruni, 65, director of the Regional Center for Neurogenetics in Lamezia Terme. In 1995, the scientist identified presenilin, the most common Alzheimer’s gene. Today, however, its Center risks closure. Our studies on the knowledge of the “geography” of hereditary diseases in recent years have found obstacles that do not allow us to continue researching – confirms Amalia Bruni -. Soon we could have devised drugs to fight Alzheimer’s more substantially.

Biologists are gone

The funds needed for research and to pay staff no longer come, and so four biologists have already left. Ten other professional figures – nurses, computer scientists, psychologists, social workers – serving the Association for Neurogenetic Research (Arn), have received the letters of dismissal and will remain at home from 1 March. Everything happens to us between the indifference of the regional policy, of the prefect commissioners who guide the Lamezia Terme Healthcare Commissioner for the Mafia, and of General Saverio Cotticelli, Commissioner ad acta for the implementation of the health return plan in Calabria. There is a risk that the Center for Neurogenetics will become a health clinic, because the ongoing stripping will lead to this continues Bruni. In recent days, the scientist has written a letter to the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, informing him of what is happening, retracing the stages of the Center that sponsored the Nobel Prize for Medicine Rita Levi Montalcini. A regional law of 2007 had guaranteed an allocation of five hundred thousand euros per year which should have been used to cover the Centre’s expenses. With the promise that to facilitate research on human brain diseases, the structure would be equipped with an organic plant indefinitely.

Patients at home

Until 2018 the disbursement of the sum occurred on a regular basis and even among a thousand difficulties we managed to move forward. The reason was not understood, but at some point the funding did not arrive and it was not enough to warn that the money was part of a Fund established by regional law, never repealed, clarifies Amalia Bruni. In 2018 the Region entered a new fund of two hundred thousand euros in the budget. But that money is already over and for this reason we are forced to send hundreds of patients home every day and we have also blocked bookings because with one nurse the Center cannot cope with the question of hope concludes the scientist.

February 10, 2020 (change February 11, 2020 | 09:21)


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