Will RNA molecules that bump up or tamp down gene expression live up to their potential? Results from RNA-targeting therapies presented at the 70th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Los Angeles suggest children with spinocerebellar ataxia continue to improve years after starting approved treatments. However, prices are high and so far, health gains are modest. Will similar approaches for Huntington’s disease, ALS, familial amyloid polyneuropathy, and tauopathies fare better?
Sorry for the acronym salad, folks, but it can’t be helped. The former International Geneva/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy is merging with the International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases aka AD/PD to now be called Advances in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Therapies Focus Meeting, aka AAT-AD/PD. That said, the two meetings will continue to alternate every March, except that AAT-AD/PD will cover the DLB/PD spectrum in addition to Springfield’s prior focus on AD. Your Alzforum reporters Madolyn Rogers and Gabrielle Strobel were chasing news at the inaugural AAT-AD/PD in Turin, Italy, and have culled the top stories for you.
This year’s annual meeting drew more than 23,000 scientists and featured 1,000 presentations on Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers soaked up new data on topics from the basic biology of tau and Aβ to the physiology of sleep and the microbiome. Alzforum covers the highlights.
Held in Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel, this year’s CTAD conference filled its chosen venue to fire regulation capacity. The space bustled with scientists heading to talks, posters, and various private meetings in rooms up and down the hallways. Despite a notable absence of success stories for large trials, a sense of optimism pervaded the scene, which stands in marked contrast to a public perception of all-failure-all-the-time in Alzheimer disease trials. True, verubecestat data was flat-out negative in mild to moderate AD and some scientists began to fret about a possible class effect, but on the other hand, several anti-Aβ antibodies posted evidence of removing amyloid plaque reasonably safely from the human brain, and all breaks were off on prep work for multiple large-scale prevention trials in the preclinical phase of this long disease. CTAD news ran the gamut from creative approaches to developing drugs (think young men’s plasma fraction) to creative approaches to measuring subtle cognitive change (think burst mobile tests and digital pen), to on-the-spot ApoE genotyping (think cube). Learn the latest with our 13-part news series.