In a recent paper published in the Nature Reviews in Neurology journal, a team of US researchers discussed the current challenges, opportunities and emerging evaluation methods in preclinical Alzheimer disease treatments, describing a convergent initiative to improve Alzheimer disease prevention research coined as Collaboration for Alzheimer’s Prevention.
Alzheimer disease (AD) is progressive disorder affecting brain neurons, and is the most common cause of dementia. At the moment, this devastating illness has no cure and imposes a heavy burden to patients, caregivers and society. Studies have showed that specific medications, dietary supplements and lifestyle attitudes might potentially reduce the risk of developing AD. Nonetheless, the complete implications of these preventive measures have not been adequately assessed so far. Clinical studies evaluating the effects of AD prevention strategies in at-risk individuals without cognitive impairment are of enormous public benefit.
To facilitate the development of this sort of studies, a consortium formed by members of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API), the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIANTU), the Alzheimer’s Association, the FDA, NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Fidelity Biosciences Research Initiative designed the Collaboration for Alzheimer’s Prevention. This action assembles a collection of policies designed to promote stakeholders collaboration, facilitate information exchange, capitalize on complementary resources and reach a consensus on the scientific methods, data standardization and regulatory guidelines needed for preclinical AD trials. Authors define preclinical AD trials as studies intended to postpone, reduce the risk of or completely prevent the clinical onset of AD in at-risk individuals cognitively unpaired.
Currently there are four ongoing trials on AD prevention that are following the guidelines proposed in the Collaboration for Alzheimer’s Prevention initiative and other related resources. Two more are to be started soon. So far, results are promising and having been gathered under Collaboration for Alzheimer’s Prevention policies their future usability is secured. These trial findings will allow preclinical AD research to progress in a more effective way, allowing the swifter development of AD prevention therapies.