The FDA approval for aducanumab left clinicians with little guidance on how to select the right patients and ensure their safety. At this year’s Alzheimer's Association International Conference, leading clinicians presented appropriate-use recommendations that helped fill the void. These include not prescribing the drug to people with cerebral amyloid angiopathies or people on blood thinners, and monitoring vascular health with frequent MRIs. Clinicians welcomed the guidelines and were hungry for more.
Scientists discussed anti-Aβ therapeutic antibodies, confirming their ability to remove brain amyloid and working to boost their brain exposure. They continued their postmortem of BACE inhibitors in hopes of reviving these drugs at lower doses. Efforts at targeting tau are shifting toward tau’s microtubule-binding section, and α-synuclein trials are grappling with rates of disease progression. Emerging neurophysiology-based treatment approached presented promising early stage data, and clinicians shared experiences dealing with a year of COVID disrupting their trials and worsening their patients across neurologic care. Plus: cool news on astrocytes, tau blood tests, better mouse models and more. Check it all out here.
At this year’s meeting, held virtually from March 3-5, FTD researchers reported their latest findings, safely distanced from computers around the world. Their field continues to inch forward despite facing daunting challenges. International cohort studies have charted the tortuous course of this spectrum of diseases, arming researchers with increasingly validated neuropsychological tests and fluid biomarkers that they are starting to put to use in clinical trials.
In the age of COVID-19, this year’s CTAD was a virtual one. As an FDA advisory committee picked apart aducanumab’s case for approval elsewhere, presentations at CTAD hoisted another therapeutic—BAN2401—into the spotlight. The protofibril-trained antibody continued to beat back amyloid in extension studies, and forged ahead into Phase 3. Also at CTAD, scientists took stock of clinical studies affected by the pandemic, and presented rigorous validations of smartphone-based cognitive tests. As the pandemic rages on, the field is trying to adapt and move forward in evaluating new treatments for AD.