Despite many promising leads, no drug has yet been found to slow or modify the debilitating, and ultimately fatal, progress of Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. Within 20 years almost half a million Australians will suffer from dementia, by 2050 the number will double to one million.

Is it realistic, then, to aspire to the holy grail of an Alzheimer's free world?

And what if there is no cure to be had? How will Australia and the world - with some 113 million cases worldwide by 2050 - cope with the burden the disease imposes on sufferers, their families, health systems and national economies? And, what role might alternative non-drug interventions play in preventing or delaying the onset of the disease?

Two of Australia's leading experts on dementia, Professor Henry Brodaty, from the University of New South Wales and Professor Nicola Lautenschlager, from the University of Melbourne, will join the President of Alzheimer's Australia, Ita Buttrose, to answer these questions at a free public forum to mark World Alzheimer's Day, Wednesday 21st September.

"The promise of cure has been a tantalising five years away for over 15 years," says Professor Brodaty, Director of UNSW's Dementia Collaborative Research Centre. "Unfortunately there's been no magic bullet."

While drug research continues, new findings are revealing other ways to protect against Alzheimer's disease. Professor Lautenschlager - a world expert on diagnosis of cognitive impairment and intervention trials - will outline the latest research on the power of physical exercise and mental activity to protect against cognitive decline.

What: Alzheimer's & You - free public seminar When: 6-7.30pm, Wednesday 21 September 2011Where: Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt St, Sydney (btwn Market and Park Streets)RSVP: 9385 2585 or 9385 2702

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8107 |