Alzheimer’s Prevention Trials—The Future Looks Promising

Alzheimer’s Prevention Trials—The Future Looks Promising

Current prevalence estimates for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease LOAD in the United States (U.S.) is approximately 5.1 million.(1) By 2050 the projected prevalence of LOAD is expected to escalate to 13.8 million and a staggering 106.8 million worldwide.(2,3) Pharmacological treatments for LOAD such as cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists may slow its progression or attenuate specific molecular pathomechanisms associated with the disease process, but are not long term solutions or curative. While there is active research for more effective disease-modifying drugs* the lack of any significant breakthroughs in the treatment of the disease has propelled a paradigm shift away from focusing solely on a pharmaceutical solution to an inclusive prevention model that emphasizes risk reduction and ultimately the portentous global burden incurred by the disease.

Several clinical trials have recently explored the potential role of prevention-based interventions for decreasing the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) and vascular dementia. The outcomes are encouraging. Multi-dimensional interventional strategies (implementing multiple treatment and prevention modalities simultaneously) versus mono-therapy (employing only with a single treatment modality e.g. drugs) has yielded promising results in reducing the eventual onset of dementia for aging individuals considered to be at higher risk. These trials highlight the potential effectiveness of preventive approaches for individuals deemed to have a higher risk for vascular dementia and LOAD and for the management of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).**

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