In his laboratory in the , Dr. William Van Nostrand conducts research on Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. But Van Nostrand, a professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Medicine, carries his dedication to research outside his laboratory, too.
Van Nostrand will be competing in New York City's first Ironman Triathlon on Aug. 11 as part of a series of events he competes in to raise money for Alzheimer's research, the University Hospital announced this week.
The Alzheimer's Foundation says the illness is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the aging U.S. population, affecting more than five million people.
Van Nostrand, of Setauket, said he feels there should be a worldwide "war against Alzheimer's."
"With an aging population, there will be a dramatic increase in the incidence of this deadly disease in the near future, and right now the toll on the individuals afflicted and their families in terms of the physical, emotional, and financial burdens, is huge," he said in a statement. "We need to further research to discover effective ways to curb and perhaps even cure the disease."
He has participated in events all over the nation. Among Van Nostrand's other athletic achievements to raise awareness and support research: In 2009 he participated in the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. In 2010, he was the first to finish the three-mile open water Distant Memories Swim in Northport and joined 55 other researchers in the Alzheimer's Breakthrough Ride, a bike ride hundreds of miles long that spanned several U.S. states and ended in Washington, D.C. on World Alzheimer's Day.