Pharmacy Professor Tackling Alzheimer’s
As a pharmacist with geriatrics specialty, Kalin Clifford, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Dallas campus, is involved with the care of many older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills and the ability to carry out simple tasks.
“My pharmaceutical care focus is working with Alzheimer’s disease patients who no longer benefit from the medications currently available and those patients at the end of their disease battle,” shared Clifford. “I educate them, and their loved ones, on why medications are no longer working and redefine goals of care with medications that will improve their quality of life during the time they have left.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in 2022. That number is expected to grow as the size of the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to grow.
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is often disheartening but Clifford is optimistic about the future diagnosis and treatment options that may be available to patients.
“Ten years ago, every new medication being created to treat Alzheimer’s was only delaying disease progression,” shared Clifford. “Data being published now shows that identifying Alzheimer’s earlier allows nonpharmacologic methods that help delay the progression of the disease to be performed sooner and helps improve our ability to better identify early warning signs.”
Clifford is also excited about new drugs that are in their Phase III clinical trials that are showing great potential to slow and even stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
“There is hope, and that makes it all the more important to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease because these patients need that hope,” said Clifford.
Clifford does his part to raise awareness both through his work and through philanthropic endeavors. Earlier this year, he served as a pink team coach for the BvB Dallas (formerly Blondes vs. Brunettes Dallas) annual powder-puff football game. The game, which acts as a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s awareness and research, raised more than $500,000.