Incisive article from the NIA on challenges and new strategies for patient recruitment into AD clinical trials.

In this article we explore recruitment issues, including those unique to Alzheimer’s studies, and we suggest concrete steps such as establishing a structured consortium linking all of the registries of Alzheimer’s trials and establishing new partnerships with community and local organizations that can build trust and understanding among patients, caregivers, and providers.

In the largest-ever genetic analysis conducted on Alzheimer’s disease, an international group of researchers has identified 11 new genes associated with the disorder, doubling the number of known gene variants linked to it.

The International Genomic Alzheimer’s Project, a collaboration of two groups in the United States and two in Europe, scanned the DNA of 74,076 older volunteers from 15 countries — including people with and without the disease — to look for subtle gene variants involved in late-onset Alzheimer’s, the most common form.

Proposed preclinical stages for Alzheimer’s disease work well to predict who is most likely to progress to AD, according to a paper released online by Lancet Neurology.

Researchers led by Stephanie Vos and Pieter Jelle Visser at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and Anne Fagan and others at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, analyzed data from 311 cognitively normal elderly people seen at St. Louis’s Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Paul Aisen, MD, Director of the ADCS, expands on the significance of the ADCS DAPC independent analysis of the semagacestat trial which was published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A team of scientists, including Paul Aisen, MD, professor of neuroscience and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, issued a sort of post-mortem on semagacestat, a small-molecule gamma-secretase inhibitor that drug developer Eli Lilly hoped would prove to be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Additional data from the Phase III Gammaglobulin Alzheimer’s Partnership (GAP) study, including select analyses of subgroups, biomarker and imaging data, was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Boston, Massachusetts

On cognitive measures, an analysis of ApoE4 carrier patients who were treated with the 400mg/kg biweekly dose (n=87) of immunoglobulin (IG), found a statistically significant difference (p=0.012) in change from baseline in the 3MS score at 18 months versus placebo.

When a neuron gets blocked, the delicate harmony that allows the brain to operate seamlessly deteriorates. One result: diseases like Alzheimer’s. Understanding such blockages and how “traffic” should flow normally in healthy brain cells could offer hope to people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Toward that end, a research team led by University at Buffalo biologist Shermali Gunawardena, PhD, has shown that the protein presenilin plays an important role in controlling neuronal traffic on microtubule highways, a novel function that previously was unknown.