Q&A: Alzheimer's trial disconnect

While preclinical studies identify ways to prevent Alzheimer's disease in animals, human trials test these same therapies in symptomatic patients -- long after they are most likely to be effective

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Jan 25, 2011
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a growing threat that currently afflicts some 35 million people worldwide. Without the advent of preventive therapies, the neurodegenerative disease will strike as many as 100 million people by 2050. And while laboratory studies in animal models of AD continue to uncover promising avenues for disease prevention, clinical trials in humans target patients who are already showing signs of neural degeneration.
Image: Wikimedia commons, Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V.
Disease biologist linkurl:Todd Golde;http://www.neuroscience.ufl.edu/faculty+research/golde.html of University of Florida College of Medicine talked to The Scientist about this disconnect, its consequences, and possible solutions to the problem -- the topic of an opinion piece he co-authored, published online today (January 26) in Neuron.The Scientist: What are the current treatments for Alzheimer's disease? Todd Golde: The two [classes of drugs] that have been approved are designed to enhance cognitive function. One is the cholinesterase inhibitors, and the...
TS:TG:TS:TG:TS:TG:TS:TG:T.E. Golde, et al, "Anti-Ab therapeutics in Alzheimer's disease: the need for a paradigm shift," Neuron, 69:203-13, 2011.



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