Scales as outcome measures for Alzheimer's disease
J. Michael Ryan,
David S. Miller,
Maria C. Carrillo
The assessment of patient outcomes in clinical trials of new therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease (AD) continues to evolve. In addition to assessing drugs for symptomatic relief, an increasing number of trials are focusing on potential disease-modifying agents. Moreover, participants with AD are being studied earlier in their course of disease. As a result, the limitations of current outcome measures have become more apparent, as has the need for better instruments. In recognition of the need to review and possibly revise current assessment measures, the Alzheimer's Association, in cooperation with industry leaders and academic investigators, convened a Research Roundtable meeting devoted to scales as outcome measures for AD clinical trials. The meeting included a discussion of methodological issues in the use of scales in AD clinical trials, including cross-cultural issues. Specific topics related to the use of cognitive, functional, global, and neuropsychiatric scales were also presented. Speakers also addressed academic and industry initiatives for pooling data from untreated and placebo-treated patients in clinical trials. A number of regulatory topics were also discussed with agency representatives. Panel discussions highlighted areas of controversy, in an effort to gain consensus on various topics.