Kathy Walsh and Huntington Potter at the Aspen Ideas Festival

The groundbreaking research into Alzheimer’s disease carried out at the Anschutz Medical Campus was one of the main topics at “An Evening of Conversation” to preview the 10th annual Aspen Ideas Festival.

Huntington Potter, PhD, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program, was interviewed by CBS4 Denver anchor/reporter Kathy Walsh in front of an invited audience on the Anschutz campus April 23. He discussed his research into Alzheimer’s disease and Down Syndrome.

Potter, a School of Medicine professor in the Department of Neurology and member of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, began by confessing to Walsh that despite his team’s work, the world is still not close to finding a cure to Alzheimer’s disease. Asked what was needed, Potter responded, “research, research and more research.” (For more on this research see the Fall 2013 edition of CU Medicine Today).

The goal: prevention

When questioned about the drugs now used to treat Alzheimer’s, Potter explained that they “may slow the disease down but they do not attack the disease at its foundation. The drugs that we, and other people, are developing are trying to prevent Alzheimer’s from happening.”

Lilly Marks, CU vice president for health affairs and executive vice chancellor of the Anschutz Medical Campus, provided opening remarks. In addition to the interview with Potter, Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, was interviewed by Cathy Proctor of the Denver Business Journal.

The Aspen Ideas Festival, sponsored in part this year by the Anschutz Medical Campus, brings together some 350 thought leaders to talk about major issues. Brita Stevenson, program manager for the festival, explained that this year’s event is the first time that the festival has been broadly themed: “Imagining 2024.”

“We’re looking through the lens of 10 years into the future and discussing what we should be doing about these issues in 2024 and what should we be doing now to combat what will happen in 10 years’ time,” Stevenson said.

Focus on health

The festival will feature over 10 thematic tracks, including, “man and machine,” “climate change” and “global dynamics.”

For the first time, this year’s festival is to be extended by two and a half day’s to feature “Spotlight: Health,” focusing on health from an integrative perspective.

The 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival takes place from June 24 to July 3 in Aspen, Colo.

​By Andy Gilmore | University Communications