This year, the AAIC conference showcased a field that is doggedly inching toward an effective anti-amyloid therapy while at the same time branching out from its usual ways of doing things. The antibody BAN2401 showed promising Phase 2 data, making it the latest in a handful of such therapeutics shown to robustly remove brain amyloid. (Hint: Crank the dose.) A fifth antibody, crenezumab, might remove CSF Aβ oligomers, a long-elusive species the field finally appears able to measure. Other scientists showed progress on capturing the decades-long disease process in deeper ways. They include measuring brain amyloid by way of a blood test, detecting neurodegeneration by way of blood neurofilament light protein levels, imaging synapses and—last but not least—new tests that catch subtle subtle cognitive deficits many years prior to the overt forgetting that used to be called symptom onset. (Hint: tau.) Non-amyloid-centered research is growing apace, supporting large initiatives to study the cardiovascular components of dementia, metabolic underpinnings of sex differences in AD, innovative drug-delivery approaches using ultrasound, and tech-based ways to support research and patient care.
More than 700 participants hailing from 35 countries gathered in Keystone, Colorado, June 17–21 for a joint Keystone symposium: Advances in Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Therapy; and New Frontiers in Neuroinflammation: What Happens When CNS and Periphery Meet? Researchers presented fresh findings on how microglial meddling steers neurodegeneration, on tau’s latest antics, on ApoE’s actions independent of Aβ, and how aging transmits from the blood into the brain. Participants jumped back and forth between the two side-by-side symposia, and packed poster sessions abuzz with intense discussions capped off each data-filled day. Check out Alzforum’s coverage for the highlights.
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.