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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  November 27, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> this is the headline i saw in the new york times this morning when i got up here in your city. what's your reaction? >> it's a surprise. it's a great surprise. yesterday i spoke with the president elect. >> you spoke with trump? >> yes. >> did he call you or you called him? >> i called him. >> he's the prime minister of italy and he is behind the next big drama in this tumultuous political year. a potential change in his beautiful but inefficient country that will have ramifications across europe. >> "60 minutes" has traveled to a lot of far off places to tell a lot of incredible stories. but on this trip to the colombian country side we ran smack into a medical detective
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story, that may end up affecting someone you know and love. after years of research on a unique population of patients, a multimillion dollar nih-backed study has begun to see if the dreaded alzheimer's disease may be preventable. >> if it makes a difference for them, i think there's a reasonable chance it could make a difference for all the rest of people who get alzheimer's disease. >> i'm steve croft. >> i'm leslie stahl. >> i'm scott pelley. >> i'm charlie rose,. >> i'm bill whittaker. >> those stories, plus a look back at a rare moment with fidel castro, tonight on "60 minutes." >> cbs money watch, sponsored by american express open.
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>> rose: italy is the stage for the next big drama in this tumultuous political year. next sunday, italians will go to the polls to vote on a referendum driven by matteo renzi, italy's brash and charismatic prime minister. he wants to reduce the size of italy's senate by two-thirds-- literally getting rid of hundreds of politicians. a monumental proposition for italy, and himself. renzi argues that italy has changed governments 63 times in 70 years, and trimming the size of government will help bring order to chaos and move the country into the 21st century. the vote will have implications for all of europe, and hinges on the considerable political
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skills of a modern-day macchiavelli-- a 41-year old former mayor of florence, who is the youngest prime minister in italy's history. ( bells ) we met matteo renzi in his hometown of florence, where the renaissance was born, and where it flourished. >> matteo renzi: this is-- >> rose: he insisted on conducting the interview in the magnificent palazzo vecchio, the old palace, in a room with a view. look out the window! >> renzi: yes! >> rose: it was only 48 hours after donald trump had stunned the world. this is the headline i saw in "the new york times" this morning, when i got up here in your city. what's your reaction? >> renzi: it's a surprise. ( laughs ) it's a great surprise. yesterday, i spoke with the president elected. >> rose: you spoke with trump? >> renzi: yes. i called-- >> rose: did he call you, or you called him? >> renzi: i called him. and because the president
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elected deserves a call from the prime minister of italy. and i, i wish him every, every good, good luck for, for the next years. >> rose: did you remind him that you had supported his opponent? >> renzi: but we don't discuss about it. but it's normal. it's the, the great, the great play of democracy. >> rose: matteo renzi finds himself at the center of a great play of democracy. italians will vote on december 4 on a referendum he initiated. it would change italy's constitution by slashing the number of senators in parliament. >> renzi: italy is incredible. because italy is the country with 950 members of parliament. the double of the united states of america. >> rose: the u.s. has 435 members of the house, and 100 members of the senate. >> renzi: in italy, the number are 630 in the chamber, and in the senate, 315.
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>> rose: a "yes" vote would reduce the senate to 100 members, who would be appointed and not elected. renzi believes the change is needed because the senate is the graveyard of legislation in italy. >> renzi: this referendum is not a referendum to change democracy in italy. it is a referendum to reduce bureaucracy in italy. italy is the worst country for bureaucracy around the world. and this is very important. if we have a system with a lot of politicians, the consequence is 63 government changes in 70 years. >> rose: 63 governments in 70 years! >> renzi: exactly. because we have a system in the hands of bureaucracy. everything is difficult. everything is complicated. and my idea is simply, give simplicity to italy.
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>> rose: renzi is known as the demolition man in italy, because he wants to scrap the old ways of doing business. he's already passed a bill that makes it easier to hire and fire workers. renzi argues that with a leaner senate, he can streamline the way italy is run. history is italy's richest asset, but its present is hampered by a bloated and inefficient state. italy's economy hasn't grown for two decades. the unemployment rate is nearly 12%. italians still know how to enjoy life, even as the country seems stuck in place. many italians are suspicious of renzi's motives for the referendum. >> virginia raggi: this is crazy. this is madness. this is ridiculous. democracy is the right that people have to choose their, their representative. >> rose: virginia raggi is the new mayor of rome, who came to office with little political experience. her party opposes renzi's constitutional reform.
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>> raggi: he doesn't want to change the country. he just want more power. >> rose: that's an incredible accusation to make. more power to do what? >> raggi: what he wants. maybe, all the laws that he want to do without havin' a great opposition from the parliament. >> rose: beppe severgnini is one of italy's leading columnists. he says renzi personalized the referendum early on, by threatening to quit if the "no" vote prevailed. >> beppe severgnini: and of course, that concentrated all of his opponents, everywhere-- the left, the right, the center, whatever-- we, even within his party. so, in practice, it's a referendum on matteo renzi and it's him against everyone else. >> rose: it's become a vote about you. and that's not good. >> renzi: yes. this is, was my mistake in the first days of the electoral campaign. i understand the mistake.
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i don't-- i don't accept that people who say, "oh, politicians have to, refuse to admit the mistakes." no. i am an, i am a man. i can make some mistakes. >> rose: if you can trust them, the polls show the "no" vote slightly ahead. there have been weekly rallies against renzi and his referendum, some of whh have turned violent-- >> rose: --while others have been simply passionate. >> si o no? >> no! >> rose: even in his native florence, where banners at a recent rally read, "renzi go home," although he's only been in office for a little over two and a half years, matteo renzi is now seen as the establishment, the vessel for people to vent their anger, in a year when discontented voters are saying no to those in power. >> renzi: after the victory of trump, a lot of italian populists, "ah, we won!" >> rose: they said trump was a vote for "no."
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>> renzi: yes. but if trump won in michigan or in pennsylvania, it's not the same thing in lombardia or piemonte. >> rose: europe is nervous. already rattled this year by the shock of the brexit vote, the european union needs stability in italy, a country notorious for its instability. ♪ ♪ and president obama, with an eye perhaps on boosting renzi before the referendum, last month invited renzi and his wife agnese to the white house for the final state dinner of the obama years. ♪ ♪ if renzi pulls out a victory next week, it will likely be because he is a relentless campaigner and a master of operatic stagecraft. >> rose: with his tuscan swagger and a florentine ease with the italian language, he is racing around italy like a man who has consumed one double espresso too
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many. renzi is a natural politician. he is trying to convince his people that a "yes" vote is the best chance for italy to move forward. here's what i hear from you, sitting here in this remarkable place of history. "i love italy so much, i want to change it in order to make sure it can be all that it can." >> renzi: the message is exactly that. after two years and a half, in my chair in rome as prime minister, i'm absolutely sure about the potential role of my country. >> rose: from a young age, renzi was the smartest person in the room. >> rose: at age 19, he won over $30,000 on the italian version of "wheel of fortune." by age 34, he became the mayor of florence. in 2014, despite not being a
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member of parliament, he managed to assume the prime minister's seat without winning an election. it was a move worthy of his fellow florentine, macchiavelli, whose name for five centuries has defined the gaining of political advantage. we are in this city of florence. the home of macchiavelli. >> renzi: yes. not only macchiavelli. not only. macchiavelli worked exactly in the other room. >> rose: he worked in there? >> renzi: yes. and there is the portrait of macchiavelli now. >> rose: but macchiavelli was about power. and the exercise of power. that's the game you're in. >> renzi: macchiavelli... ( sigh ) --is hated in italy. because macchiavelli is the representation as a man who used every way to achieve the power. but i think, macchiavelli is one of the symbol of italian intelligence.
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>> both: this is the portrait of macchiavelli. >> rose: renzi is self-aware, and self-deprecating. but the joke in italy is that renzi's ego is so huge, the entrances to the palazzo vecchio had to be enlarged to accommodate it. here is what some of my journalistic friends have said to me. "he's a man in a hurry." >> renzi: uh-huh. >> rose: "talks too much. has tried to do a lot in two and a half years." but they remind me that your priest said to you, "god exists, matteo, but you are not god." ( laughs ) >> renzi: it's true. he told me! ( laughs ) it's very funny. but yes, i, i am a man in arena as president roosevelt. >> rose: teddy roosevelt said the man in the arena deserves the credit. >> renzi: i'm not interested to change about the government.
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i'm interested to change the conditions for the people. so, yes, i talk a lot. but i think this is the only way for italy in this moment. >> rose: suppose you lose? >> renzi: for me, it's not important. i'm a free man. i'm not as the old politicians in italy. the old politicians maintain the chair for a lot of decades. so if we will lose the referendum, this is not a problem for me. it's a problem for the new generation of italians. because it's a lost opportunity. >> rose: if it's a "yes" vote, what does it mean for him? >> severgnini: well, if it's a "yes," yes vote, we have to be very careful. we have to find a way to, to anchor matteo renzi somewhere down to earth, because he's going to float in rome. you see, you look at the sky. this matteo renzi's floating away. because he's going to be over the moon. ( laughs ) ♪ ♪ >> rose: prime minister renzi is
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proud of how once upon a time his native florence brought the west its greatest cultural transformation. the geniuses who produced glorious art and brilliant ideas are still celebrated here: michelangelo; da vinci; galileo. >> renzi: florence for me is not simply a city. florence is a sentiment. and i think it's impossible to be a politician without sentiment. >> rose: matteo renzi's sense of romance about the wonders of florence makes him optimistic italy can launch a new renaissance. >> renzi: with the "yes," the italy will start the future. because in the last 20, 20 years, italy discussed only about the past. "oh, the past is wonderful in italy." look, look at palazzo vecchio. the most beautiful place in the world, in my opinion, i think this is incredible place. but the past is not sufficient. is not enough. we need the future. because we are italians.
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and italy is not only a museum. >> rose: italy is not only a museum. >> renzi: italy is not only the past. this is the point. for adults with advanced non-small cell lung cancer previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, including those with an abnormal alk or egfr gene who've tried an fda-approved targeted therapy, this is big. a chance to live longer with opdivo (nivolumab). opdivo demonstrated longer life and is the most prescribed immunotherapy for these patients. opdivo significantly increased the chance of living longer versus chemotherapy. opdivo works with your immune system. opdivo can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in your body and affect how they work. this may happen any time during or after treatment has ended, and may become serious and lead to death. see your doctor right away
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>> stahl: nobel-prize-winning colombian novelist gabriel garcia marquez once wrote of a mythical town in the middle of the jungle whose residents suffer from a mysterious affliction that erases their memories. today, in a region of colombia called antioquia, reality appears to be imitating fiction, in a way that may answer questions for all of us. antioquia is home to the largest concentration in the world of people who carry a rare genetic mutation that makes them 100% certain to develop alzheimer's disease. and as devastating as alzheimer's is anywhere, this is a particularly cruel version-- it strikes when people are in their mid-40s, and leads to death about a decade later. it is a tragic situation, but a perfect scientific laboratory. and it's now the center of a multi-million dollar, n.i.h.- backed study trying to find out for the first time, whether
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alzheimer's disease may be preventable. these are the andes mountains and lush countryside of antioquia, colombia, whose capital city, medellin was once famous for murder and the drug cartel of pablo escobar. today, medellin-- or medejin, as it's pronounced here-- is peaceful. but for some families here, there's still a battle going on, a battle against an insidious disease. this family-- mother cecilia, her seven children, and grandchildren- lost its patriarch, alonso. >> freddie: for me, my father was-- number one. >> stahl: freddie, the oldest, remembers his dad always eager to join in and play with him and his friends. >> cecilia ( translated ): he was a very joyful person. he loved to dance.
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he was a really nice person, a very good father. before the disease. >> stahl: when it first started, what were you noticing that made you think he's-- he's different? >> cecilia ( translated ): he started asking, "what is the date today? do i have to go to work?" and we got concerned. >> stahl: alonso at the time was in his mid-40s, so the memory loss and confusion made no sense. his doctor suggested exercise and vitamins, but alonso just got worse, forgetting the names of his children, getting lost and disoriented. his son victor had to help him get dressed. >> victor ( translated ): i gave him his shirt, i told him "dad, come, i'll help you put your shirt on," and the first thing he did was to grab it-- and put it on through his feet.
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>> stahl: did he understand what was happening to him? >> victor ( translated ): there were moments of lucidity, where he would ask me and say, "son, what's happening to me? why don't i remember? i don't remember my children, or my wife. i don't know who i am." >> stahl: his son julio took him back to see the doctor: >> julio ( translated ): when i asked the doctor, i told him, "doctor, i am not leaving here"-- sorry. --"until you tell me what is wrong with my father." >> stahl: the doctor sent them to francisco lopera, a neurologist at the university of antioquia who knew exactly what was wrong with alonso, because he'd become the local authority on a rash of early-onset alzheimers cases in and around medellin.
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>> francisco lopera: they were getting disease very early in the life. >> stahl: it all began many years earlier, back in the 1980s, when lopera was a young medical resident. he had read about small numbers of people scattered around the world who had developed alzheimers in their 40s. so when a 47-year-old man came into his medellin clinic with alzheimer's-like symptoms, he was intrigued, and decided to investigate. you met this one man, and you decided to go to where he was from? >> lopera: i decided to go to the town where he was living. >> stahl: lopera learned that the man's father and grandfather had also lost their memories in their 40s. then, a few years later, another similar patient came into the clinic, this time a 42-year-old woman from a town 40 miles away. dr. lopera's then-nurse, lucia madrigal, asked if any of her
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relatives also started losing their memories when they were young. >> lucia madrigal( translated ): they told us yes, that the father, the uncles, the grandfather, the great grandfather, so i started making a little family tree, on one page, and i showed it to dr. lopera. and i told him, "look what we have here. what is this? so many with the same disease." >> stahl: and so began a detective hunt that lasted more than a decade. lopera and madrigal traveled all over the region, finding more and more people afflicted with early-onset alzheimers, and compiling family trees. they thought it might be genetic, so madrigal spent days at parish churches, poring over heavy ledgers where priests for generations had recorded village births, marriages, and deaths. thanks to these meticulous records, she was able to trace
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the disease back hundreds of years, and to make an important discovery-- the different families were actually one huge extended family, connected generations back by common ancestors who had died young, with an unusual cause of death written down by the priest: "softening of the brain." this is what "softening of the brain" looks like in real life. fernando is 46 years old, a descendant of that second patient years ago. he started forgetting things when he was in his late 30s, and now can no longer speak, feed himself, or do just about anything on his own. his aunt takes care of him round the clock, just as she did with his mother, when she got the disease at the same age.
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norelly is at an even later stage of the disease. despite her appearance, she is just 58 years old. patients were going from mild symptoms to complete dementia and then death within about a decade-- as dr. lopera showed us in these cognitive test results. >> lopera: you can see, at 38-- >> stahl: even at 38, this man struggled-- as many older alzheimer's patients do-- to copy a complex drawing accurately. >> lopera: at 45. >> stahl: and things got worse from there. >> lopera: he lost more. at 50. >> stahl: ah! oh! >> lopera: at 51. >> stahl: oh! dr. lopera was convinced that what he and madrigal were discovering was scientifically important, but even as they found more patients and more related families, he couldn't get anyone outside colombia to take notice.
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until 1993, when a harvard professor came to give a talk about alzheimer's in bogota, several hours away. >> ken kosik: there was a person in the audience, francisco lopera, who came up after the talk and said, "you know, there's-- i have a family here that w-- has-- early-onset alzheimer's." >> stahl: ken kosik, now at u.c. santa barbara, was that professor. a family. could've been four people. >> kosik: it could've been just four people. but he started to tell me how many it was. and as i listened to him, i became just so absorbed and taken with what he was telling me that i changed all my plans, went with him to medelliín. and-- we began a collaboration that goes on to this day. >> stahl: they showed kosik what lucia madrigal showed us-- the family tree they had compiled, based on all that searching through church records, for just one of the affected families, going back all the way to the 1800s.
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this is one family? ( laughs ) >> madrigal: una sola! >> stahl: it just kept unfolding. and unfolding. covering these pages are small squares representing men, circles for women. the colored-in squares and circles mean the person got sick with alzheimer's at an early age. look, she had these sons and a daughter. and then it just kept going down-- through the generations-- >> madrigal: si. >> kosik: when we looked at the family trees, about 50% of the offspring were getting the disease. that's a clear signature of a gene. >> stahl: but what gene? kosik connected dr. lopera with leading geneticists in the u.s., and they started collecting blood samples and searching. within a year, a major breakthrough-- they found a specific mutation in a gene on chromosome 14 one tiny flaw in the d.n.a. responsible for all this family's suffering.
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the discovery was published in 1997 in the journal of the american medical association. lopera had identified the largest concentration of early onset alzheimers cases in the world. if a person has that mutation, do they get alzheimer's? >> kosik: yes, they do. >> stahl: if they have it, they definitely get the disease. >> kosik: right. there are some mutations where you don't definitely get it. but this is a bad one. and if you have this mutation, you get it. >> stahl: for families like alonso's, discovering the mutation was a blessing- a crucial first step toward finding a way to fight the disease. but it was also a curse, because it meant that anyone whose parent had the mutation, has a 50/50 chance of having inherited it too. do any of you know if you have that mutation? do you know? >> victor: no. >> freddie: nobody knows. >> stahl: nobody knows. well, somebody knows.
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dr. lopera and his team have been testing for the mutation and compiling a database, but their policy is not to tell family members if they have the mutation or not-- and not even to reveal the results to dr. lopera, since at this point, there is nothing that can be done to help. >> cecelia ( translated ): sometimes i ask, which one will get it? but i throw that thought away, because i don't want to think about that. i pray a lot to god that none of them gets it. i don't want to see my children with that disease. >> stahl: each one of you knows, because of your father, that you have a 50-50 chance. so what kind of a weight does that put on you, day in and day out? >> julio ( translated ): i've even prayed to god that if-- if there's one person who has to have the disease, i say to god, "let it be me." >> sara ( translated ): i thank
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god that i'm a nurse and that i would be able to take care of them, but i tell myself, "first i had to go through it with my dad, the experience of the disease, and i may have to go through it with one of my siblings, or with several, we don't know." >> stahl: sara told us she would love to have children of her own, but given her risk of developing the disease, she's decided against it. >> sara ( translated ): so that my children don't have to go through my same experience. >> stahl: you've been working on this 30 years. how do you cope with all this pain? >> lopera: ( crying ) >> stahl: it was not the response we had expected. it's that hard? it's that hard.
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but dr. lopera knew that even in the midst of all this tragedy, there might just be a glimmer of hope. because what he had discovered in these families-- hundreds of people destined to develop alzheimer's, and easily identifiable with a simple genetic test-- presented a unique scientific opportunity to test whether it's possible to step in and stop early-onset, and maybe all, alzheimer's disease before it starts. that part of the story, when we come back. >> this cbs sports update is brought the you by ford division. i'm james brown with scores from the nfl today. baltimore survives and regains first place in the a.f.c. north. eli manning throws three scores as the giants win their sixth in a row. tampa bay sacked russell wilson six times and forced three turnovers to stymie seattle. atlanta rolls past arizona and
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>> stahl: alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the united states. more than five million americans have alzheimer's right now, and given the aging baby boomer population, that number is projected to nearly triple by mid-century. yet unlike many other leading killers, there is no effective treatment. an alzheimer's diagnosis is essentially a prescription for a slow descent into oblivion-- an inexorable loss of the memories, spatial skills, and ability to think that make us who we are. early-onset alzheimer's patients, like the hundreds of family members in colombia, are a tiny fraction of the whole, but to scientists, they could be everything. because they are offering researchers something they have never had before-- a way to test whether intervening, years before people start having symptoms, might halt the disease
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in its tracks. answers are still years away, but with more than 1,000 americans developing alzheimer's every day, a way to prevent it cannot come soon enough. the scene we witnessed in dr. pierre tariot's exam room at the banner alzheimer's institute in phoenix is one that plays out in neurologist's offices every day. >> pierre tariot: so if i asked you what city we're in right now, what would you say? >> norm: ( laughs ) uh, you know, right, i don't know at this moment. >> stahl: norm, age 72, has been diagnosed with alzheimer's-- the typical, late-in-life form so many of us fear. it begins with mild memory and thinking problems, and spirals into full-on dementia. >> tariot: who is that young lady over there? >> norm: betsy. >> tariot: betsy. and is she a friend? >> norm: yes.
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>> tariot: how do you know betsy? >> norm: because i've been loving her for a long time. >> tariot: okay. is she your sister? >> norm: a little bit of both. >> tariot: uh-huh. is she your wife? >> norm: i don't think so. i think you're-- somebody. i wish i was, but-- >> stahl: they've been married 51 years. unlike early-onset alzheimer's, there's been no single gene identified that causes this. >> tariot: now touch your nose. >> stahl: no way to know who among us is destined to get it. what percentage of all people are going to get alzheimer's? >> tariot: 1% of us, 60 or older, will have a dementia like alzheimer's disease. but by the time you hit 85-- >> stahl: what percent? >> tariot: --that, that percentage is approaching 40-ish percent. >> norm: that's a dogan and these are gogans.
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>> tariot: alzheimer's disease has been called out by the world health organization as the coming pandemic of the west. we have to do something to put it behind us. >> claudia kawas: can you draw the numbers for a clock? >> stahl: but dr. claudia kawas, a leading alzheimer's researcher and clinician at the university of california-irvine, says she's frustrated that she can't offer her patients any hope. >> kawas: i have to say, i've been doing this now for a third of a century. and when i started, i just never would have believed we would still not be closer than we are now to making a real difference. it has been a little disappointing. >> stahl: it hasn't been for lack of trying. kawas gave us a quick primer on the tell-tale signs of alzheimer's in the brain after autopsy. >> kawas: every place you see a brown spot, that is a senile amyloid plaque. in contrast, you see these black
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things that tend to be triangular shape. those are what we call neurofibrillary tangles. >> stahl: the relationship between plaques and tangles isn't completely understood. but because it's been shown that amyloid plaques build up in the brain before tangles, and years before patients develop symptoms, pharmaceutical companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars since the early 2000s developing drugs to remove amyloid from the brain, and hundreds of millions more to test those drugs in patients like norm. of all the trials that have been done what percent have succeeded? >> tariot: about 1%. >> stahl: in other words, a resounding failure. so what does that say, do you think? >> kawas: well, it says either amyloid is not the right thing to go after, or it says we need to remove it earlier on in the process, before it's made all the other things cascade after it. you know, if you give a polio
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vaccine once somebody has polio, you can understand why it doesn't work. >> stahl: you're saying that maybe those drugs haven't worked because the person already had alzheimer's? >> kawas: exactly. and maybe if we give them early enough, it might work. >> stahl: but how can you test drugs on people before they develop the disease, when you don't know who among us is going to get it? dr. tariot and the executive director at the banner alzheimers institute, dr. eric reiman, realized there was a place where you could know who was going to get alzheimer's-- antioquia. >> kosik: and that's when my phone began to ring. >> stahl: by then, ken kosik had been studying the colombian extended family for 15 years. >> kosik: received a call from the people at banner. and they said, you know, "you have this family. we know when they're going to get it. we know who's going to get it. can we start treating before the disease strikes?"
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>> stahl: kosik connected tariot and reiman with dr. lopera, who by that time had identified hundreds of people who carried the gene mutation, guaranteeing that they would be struck with alzheimer's in the prime of their lives. reiman and tariot traveled to medellin and met with both healthy and sick members of the extended family. is this particular family, in the world-- extraordinary? >> tariot: there's nothing else like it. the idea that there's this concentration within roughly 100 miles of each other is-- just an extraordinary-- phenomenon. >> stahl: and a perfect scientific laboratory. to lay the groundwork for a large clinical trial, banner flew a group of extended family members from medellin to phoenix for pet scans. one goal: to compare the brains of those with and without the mutation, years before any memory loss began, when they
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were in their 30s. dr. reiman showed us the results. >> eric reiman: this is somebody who doesn't have the gene. they have no plaques in the brain. >> stahl: but in members of the family with the mutation, it was a different story. >> reiman: extensive amyloid deposition in the brain. >> stahl: that's the red. >> reiman: red is more amyloid. but yellow is also amyloid. >> stahl: this brain had even more. the images showed that amyloid plaques build up in the brain more than a decade before memory loss begins. so if a drug could remove that red and yellow, maybe the disease could be prevented. banner developed a plan for a multi-million dollar drug trial, and convened a meeting with leading scientists, pharmaceutical companies, and representatives of the n.i.h. >> tariot: the end of the meeting, each scientist was allowed to say one closing thought. and francisco had the last word. >> stahl: lopera? >> tariot: and he paused a long time. and you could hear a pin drop in
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the room. >> lopera: i said to them, "we-- the families are waiting for you." >> stahl: "they're waiting for you." >> tariot: that's the point when, you know, the goose bumps came, and we said, "we really have to make this work. we really do." >> stahl: and they did. with a commitment of $15 million from n.i.h., another $15 million from philanthropists, and the rest from drug company genentech, the trial-- on an immunotherapy drug to remove amyloid plaque-- enrolled its first patient three years ago, and they've been enrolling more people ever since. >> freddie: they told me about the study and i said yes. i'll go right away, and anything that you need it, i am here. >> stahl: freddie and all his siblings signed up. the plan is to enroll a total of 300 members of the extended family who are healthy and have no memory loss yet; 200 who have
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the mutation; and another 100 who don't. that way, no one will learn their genetic status just by being accepted into the study. of the 200 with the mutation, half will get injections of the drug; the other half will be injected with a harmless placebo. the study is double-blind: neither patients nor investigators will know who's getting what. they have to come in every two weeks, for at least five years, long enough to see whether the group taking the drug does better than the group taking placebo. final results aren't expected until 2021. is this the first time in all these years of seeing these patients that you can actually offer them-- hope? >> lopera: yes, this is the first time. because in the past we only offer them education-- better quality of life, but no hope to have a solution.
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and now they have hope, a big hope. >> stahl: what would be the best outcome? >> tariot: nobody who receives the immunotherapy experiences any worsening of their thinking or memory ability. doesn't change at all. doesn't decline. that would be fabulous. that's a stretch goal. >> stahl: and that would be just the beginning. >> kawas: if it makes a difference for them, i think there's a reasonable chance it could make a difference for all the rest of the people who get alzheimer's disease. >> stahl: and that of course is the ultimate goal: to help prevent the late-in-life form of alzheimer's that we're all susceptible to. the hope is that one day, every one of us could be screened and when necessary, treated, before problems begin. >> kawas: it might be the case that, just like when you go to your doctor to get your cholesterol checked in your blood to see if you need drugs to lower your cholesterol, you would go, and get an amyloid pet scan, and it would be part of-- >> stahl: routine.
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>> kawas: --routine prevention. >> stahl: what if the drug removes the amyloid, and they still get the disease? >> kawas: i think that'll mean that there are other things we need to be targeting besides amyloid. >> stahl: but will you say that the drug test was successful? >> kawas: hard as this is to say, yes. i think that we need to know the answer. >> stahl: the answer to whether the field's focus on amyloid plaque removal for the last 15 years has been a failure. if this test doesn't work, they will at least know they need to go in a different direction. you know, victor, all the other drug trials that have gone on for years have all failed. >> victor ( translated ): yes. >> stahl: you know that. >> victor ( translated ): but this is going to be the exception. this is the exception! ( laughs ) >> stahl: if it does work, this
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saves this community. >> kosik: wouldn't that be amazing? >> stahl: that would be amazing. >> kosik: to me, i am always impressed that these families that come from such a remote area of the world, have the potential for informing all of us, globally, about a path forward for conquering alzheimer's. >> learn more about the latest alzheimer's trials and how the join them at
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,, at the marine mammal center, the environment is everything. we want to do our very best for each and every animal, and we want to operate a sustainable facility. and pg&e has been a partner helping us to achieve that. we've helped the marine mammal center go solar, install electric vehicle charging stations, and become more energy efficient. pg&e has allowed us to be the most sustainable organization we can be. any time you help a customer, it's a really good feeling. it's especially so when it's a customer that's doing such good and important work for the environment. together, we're building a better california.
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>> whitaker: rumors that fidel castro was on his deathbed began almost ten years ago. this time, they're true. fidel castro died friday. once a revolutionary leader battling a tyrannical dictator, then a tyrannical dictator himself. tonight we'll take a look not at his last days or the last years, but the beginning of his reign. and we'll do it with the help of a cbs news correspondent by the name of edward r. murrow. we've dusted off a grainy black and white interview murrow did with castro in february 1959, just 30 days after taking power. it was castro's last full interview in english. murrow wore a suit. oddly and inexplicably, castro wore pajamas. >> murrow: fidel castro, at the age of 32, you now have in your hands a great deal of power and a great deal of responsibility. aren't you a little frightened by this?
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>> castro: well, really, not frightened because i have self- confidence. >> whitaker: this rare interview came at a time of great promise for castro. he had just ousted a corrupt dictator and was greeted by cheering crowds as he and his revolutionaries entered havana. >> murrow: tell me, fidel castro, are you concerned at all about the communist influence in cuba? >> castro: i'm not worried, because, really, there is not threaten about communism here in cuba. >> whitaker: history would prove otherwise. for more than half a century, fidel castro was the communist 90 miles off our shores facing down 11 american presidents. he could be ruthless and repressive and at the same time a national hero who brought education and medical care to his people. fidel castro was 90.
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i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." ♪ ♪ it was always just a hobby. something you did for fun. until the day it became something much more. and that is why you invest.
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