Alzheimer’s Disease Summit Yields Recommendations For Prevention, Treatment

Alzheimer’s Disease Research Should Be More Inclusive, Collaborative

The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2015: Path to Treatment and Prevention held Feb. 9-10 brought together leading experts on Alzheimer’s disease and other complex diseases to identify research priorities and strategies needed to accelerate the research and development of successful therapies.

Alzheimer's disease treatment

More than 60 leading experts from academia, industry, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups joined were convened by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the Foundation for NIH. The summit drew 500 participants onsite, with another 500 participating via video.

The recommendations call for a change in how the academic, biopharmaceutical and government sectors participating in Alzheimer’s disease research and therapy generate, share and use knowledge to propel the development of new therapies.

They outline new scientific approaches to address critical knowledge gaps and propose ways to harness emerging technologies to accelerate treatments for people at all stages of Alzheimer’s disease. They also identified infrastructure and partnerships necessary to successfully implement the new research agenda and strategies to empower patients and engage citizens.

The agenda will help guide both the public and private sectors toward meeting research goals set forth in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, a national strategy aimed at identifying effective interventions to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Several overarching and transformative concepts were identified by Summit participants as critical to achieving success in Alzheimer’s disease therapy development:

    • Understand all aspects of healthy brain aging and cognitive resilience to inform strategies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) prevention.
    • Expand integrative, data-driven research approaches such as systems biology and systems pharmacology.
    • Develop computational tools and infrastructure in order to enable storage, integration, and analysis of large-scale biological and other patient-relevant data.
    • Leverage the use of wearable sensors and other mobile health technologies to inform discovery science as well as research on Alzheimer’s disease care.
    • Support and enable Open Science in basic, translational, and clinical research.
    • Change the academic, publishing, and funding incentives to promote collaborative, transparent, and reproducible research.
    • Invest in the development of a new translational and data science workforce.
    • Engage citizens, caregivers, and patients as equal partners in Alzheimer’s disease research.

These recommendations will be considered by the National Advisory Council on Aging at its meeting on May 12 and 13, 2015.

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