Early risk assessment for Alzheimer's disease
Maria C. Carrillo,
Jeffrey J. Sevigny,
David A. Bennett,
The purpose of the Alzheimer's Association Research Roundtable meeting was to discuss the potential of finding diagnostic tools to determine the earliest risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Currently, drugs approved for AD address symptoms which are generally manifest after the disease is already well-established, but there is a growing pipeline of drugs that may alter the underlying pathology and therefore slow or halt progression of the disease. As these drugs become available, it will become increasingly imperative that those at risk for AD be detected and possibly treated early, especially given recent indications that the disease process may start decades before the first clinical symptoms are recognized. Early detection must go hand-in-hand with qualified tools to determine the efficacy of drugs in people who may be asymptomatic or who have only very mild symptoms of the disease. Devising strategies and screening tools to identify and monitor those at risk in order to perform prevention trials is seen by many as a top public-health priority, made all the more urgent by an impending growth in the elderly population worldwide.