All those among families, scientists, and related stakeholders who follow the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative—one of the two large-scale efforts in the research community to prepare for treatment trials in people with the highest genetic risk of developing Alzheimer's disease—may want to check out a recent New York Times article by Pam Belluck and Salvador Rodriguez. The reporters covered the first of many planned visits by relatives of Colombian families with the PS1 Paisa mutation to the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, where they underwent amyloid PET imaging in preparation for planned treatment trials. (Besides API, the other such large initiative is the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network, or DIAN.)—Gabrielle Strobel.

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  1. We are so grateful for the interest of the New York Times in the efforts of the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative. Their coverage also means a great deal to Dr. Francisco Lopera, the pioneer who has identified the families afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer’s in Colombia, to Dr. Ken Kosik, who has supported this project throughout, to the families themselves, and to Dr. Adam Fleisher, who is directing the specific imaging project that was covered. At the end of the last trip to Phoenix, William, who was identified in the Times article as having symptomatic Alzheimer’s, stood at our farewell dinner, gestured to the people assembled, and said, “This proves that nothing is impossible.”

    We hope to clarify that it is not certain that any of the experimental treatments that we are considering will fail in symptomatic patients. We hope they won't and will look at any available data carefully. The overriding point is that, regardless of which agents are selected, there is a strong and testable scientific rationale to assume that some of them may have a more profound effect when administered earlier in the course of illness. And, while it would be ideal to start the first treatment trial in late 2012, it could be a bit later, depending on funding, regulatory approval, and so on. Between now and then, we will do whatever it takes to get the design and all requisite conditions right.

References

News Citations

  1. Colombians Come to Fore in Alzheimer’s Research, Mass Media

External Citations

  1. New York Times article
  2. Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network

Further Reading