Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer’s drug trials: Scientists learn from the old, bring on the new

Date:
November 20, 2012
Source:
Alzheimer Research Forum Foundation
Summary:
Potential Alzheimer’s disease drugs have performed poorly in clinical trials with no sign of any new approvals on the horizon. Have scientists reached a therapeutic dead end? Not according to experts.

Alzheimer's therapeutic trials have gotten bad press lately, but it is not all gloom and doom. As evident at the 5th Clinical Trials in Alzheimer's Disease (CTAD) conference, held 29-31 October in the Principality of Monaco, scientists keep extracting new data from recent drug trials to gear up for a round of new ones that aim to tackle Alzheimer's earlier than ever before. The Alzheimer Research Forum, an online resource specializing in Alzheimer's and related diseases, reported on event highlights.

Related Articles


At CTAD, the latest news on immunotherapies was most anticipated. Bapineuzumab and solanezumab are monoclonal antibodies that target Aβ, the principal component of the senile plaques found in brains of people with AD. Both fell short of their main goal in recent phase 3 trials. New data at CTAD confirms that solanezumab slowed mental decline up to 35 percent in the mildest group of patients. Bapineuzumab knocked down protein markers of brain cell death in the cerebrospinal fluid, but slightly hastened brain shrinkage. The hints of benefit for solanezumab offer hope for patients treated in early stages of the disease. Researchers continue to analyze both data sets to learn all they can about why these drugs failed in some aspects and succeeded in others (see Part 2). "These datasets are very large, and have more to tell us," said Paul Aisen of the University of California, San Diego.

Researchers also discussed the best ways to conduct trials targeting earlier stages of Alzheimer's, perhaps even before symptoms begin. The conference highlighted plans to refine the tools and designs necessary for this. Presenters pointed out the need to study younger age groups in clinical trials, because it is difficult to distinguish normal cognitive changes from those related to dementia in people over 85. Others suggested researchers administer cognitive tests more and avoid tests that people master with practice. Practice effects can make it difficult to separate improvements due to drugs over those that occur on placebo. (see Part 1).

For data analysis, some scientists are adopting Bayesian statistics -- the type that gained recent fame when it was used to correctly predict the U.S. Presidential election. This approach allows investigators to adapt trials as they are underway (see Part 4). Used successfully in cancer, adaptive methods could reveal the optimum dose of a drug by testing far fewer patients and in less time than is currently done, researchers say.

Alzforum's CTAD coverage highlights how drug regulatory agencies are evolving their stance on AD (see Part 3), trials of a new anti-inflammatory drug in people who are genetically at-risk of AD (see Part 5), the use of electroencephalography to monitor drug efficacy in trials, a sneak peak at European trials trying to prevent AD with lifestyle changes (see Part 6), and a look at the possible health economics of a goal researchers have been after, that is, a treatment that slows the course of AD, not just its symptoms.

Alzforum's seven-part series published beginning on November 8, 2012, is freely available on the ARF website.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alzheimer Research Forum Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Alzheimer Research Forum Foundation. "Alzheimer’s drug trials: Scientists learn from the old, bring on the new." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120152319.htm>.
Alzheimer Research Forum Foundation. (2012, November 20). Alzheimer’s drug trials: Scientists learn from the old, bring on the new. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120152319.htm
Alzheimer Research Forum Foundation. "Alzheimer’s drug trials: Scientists learn from the old, bring on the new." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120152319.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins