Posts tagged: Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy

The failure rate of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s – why we need to raise our game

Dr Simon Ridley

New research published today in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy has shown that the failure rate for Alzheimer’s Disease drug development is 99.6%. In this guest blog, Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, discusses the challenges we are facing in tackling this devastating condition, and what we can do to address them.

Dementia is the name for a collection of many different conditions, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. Alzheimer’s is characterised by a gradual decline in memory and changes in behaviour and communication. In the later stages, people often forget their friends and family as well as how to walk and feed themselves …

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Coordinating care for people with dementia and their carers improves outcomes


One of the commitments from the recent G8 dementia summit held in London in December 2013, was to support countries to strengthen health and social care systems, with the aim to improve care and services for people with dementia.

A research article, published today in open access journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, shows that a care coordination programme for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers resulted in improvements in psychosocial function of people with dementia. The programme, a partnership between community and health organisations, also showed positive results for carers.

The programme, called Partners in Dementia Care (PDC), is a partnership between healthcare and community agencies that provides care coordination for medical and non-medical needs of both patients …

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Accelerating medical discoveries in dementia and rheumatology


This week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 10 biopharmaceutical companies and several non-profit organizations launched an unprecedented partnership to transform the current model for identifying and validating the most promising biological targets of disease for new diagnostics and drug development.

Currently in the US, developing a drug from early discovery through Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval takes well over a decade and has a failure rate of more than 95%. As a consequence, each success can cost $1 billion or more. It was therefore recognised that new approaches were required, and that collaborative efforts might be a way to increase the collective odds of success.

Through the Foundation for the NIH, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) will invest …

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‘Lewy body dementia’ – special series call for submissions


Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy is now accepting research submissions for consideration in a special series on Lewy body dementia, planned for publication in mid-2014.

The publication of these articles will be co-ordinated with a series of commissioned reviews and opinions, guest edited by co-Series Editors Prof Ian McKeith (Newcastle University, UK) and Prof James Galvin (NYU, USA), and written by leaders in the field including John O’Brien (Cambridge University, UK), Brit Mollenhauer (Paracelsus Elena Klinik, Germany) and Glenda Halliday (Neuroscience Research Australia).

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the second most frequent cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, affecting approximately 4 million people globally. LBD consists of two related syndromes: dementia with …

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Nanoparticles ‘smuggle’ drugs into brain to treat Alzheimer’s disease

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Nanoparticles embedded with drugs can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, according to a cell-based study published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy today. The results of this study demonstrate nanoparticles are a promising tool to transport drugs to the brain for use in neurological conditions.

Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most common forms of dementia, is associated with pathological deposits of the amyloid-beta protein in the brain. Blocking the accumulation of amyloid-beta is thought to be one potential way of slowing the onset of the disease .

There have been many examples where clinical trials using anti-inflammatory drugs, which lower amyloid-beta levels to treat the disease, have failed. It …

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Does being overweight increase the risk of dementia?

fat man and skinny man

There is conflicting evidence on whether high adiposity (shown physically as being overweight or obese) causes Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In a new debate published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy today, Deborah Gustafson (State University of New York, USA) and José Luchsinger (Columbia University, USA) review the evidence for and against this controversial association.

Some of the most convincing evidence for an association is from studies of mid-life risk factors. Some epidemiologic studies show that a high BMI, or central obesity, in mid-life is a risk factor for dementia, with an association measured at least a decade prior to a clinical dementia diagnosis. Biological evidence also supports high adiposity as an independent risk factor for …

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Are Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial results skewed?


Clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are under enormous pressure to produce results, as there have been no new successful AD drugs in recent years. A large multi-centre study published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy identifies an important issue in AD clinical trials; that participants that have been on acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) treatment for mild AD may skew results when included in a study for a new drug.

Currently, the main treatment for mild-to-moderate AD is ChEIs, which include donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine. These have been shown to have positive symptomatic effects on cognition and function and act by improving neuronal communication by preventing acetylcholine (ACh) degradation. Levels of ACh in the synaptic cleft of …

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‘Immunotherapy in Alzheimer’s disease’ – special series call for submissions


Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy is accepting research submissions for consideration in a special series on immunotherapy in Alzheimer’s disease.

Accumulation of amyloid-beta protein (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau protein are the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia. The current approved therapies for AD consist of symptomatic treatments, which do not slow down the underlying disease process. Therefore, in the past decade, research has been heavily focussed on finding ‘disease modifying drugs’ that will counteract the progression of AD by intervening in a specific part of the neuropathology.

Immunotherapy has been the most extensively studied approach in Aβ-targeted therapy, and both passive and active immunotherapies have been shown to effectively reduce Aβ pathology in preclinical models. Comparatively, …

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Alzheimer’s disease: would you want to know?


If there were an early medical test for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), would you choose to take it? Most adults would, suggests a study in the open access journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy. The potential repercussions of this could be high, with medical, political and legal ramifications.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a chronic, neurodegenerative disease without a cure. Early detection, before symptoms have set in, could broaden the window for therapeutic intervention, and current attempts to devise reliable, predictive tests appear promising.

Elizabeth Wikler and colleagues have conducted the first large, international, randomized public survey of interest in the possibility of early medical testing for AD. More than 2,500 randomly-selected adults from the United States, France, …

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World Alzheimer’s Month: Importance of national dementia plans


Dementia is seen as one of the main health and social care challenges of the 21st century. As a result of increasing life expectancy, there is no other disease area where the number of people affected is going up so rapidly.  National dementia plans are needed to prevent a huge strain being placed on healthcare authorities to provide quality care to this increasing population.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and this year’s theme is Dementia: a journey of caring”. The focus is on the care required by people with dementia throughout the course of their condition.

Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy is marking the occasion by publishing a special commentary by Marc Wortmann on the importance of national plans for Alzheimer’s …

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