July 2009

ACT-AD Hosts Second Scientific Workshop on Clinical Meaningfulness in Alzheimer’s Disease

ACT-AD, together with the Alzheimer’s Association and LEAD (Leaders Engaged in Alzheimer’s Disease), hosted a scientific workshop with representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) onJuly 21, 2009..  The workshop brought together FDA officials, scientists, drug developers, academics and advocacy organizations to discuss therapeutic improvements in Alzheimer’s, specifically those which are deemed clinically meaningful to regulators..  The workshop generated consensus in key areas, most notably that measuring clinical changes in the progression of Alzheimer’s is very difficult due to the individual nature and course of the disease, but it must be done in order to enhance the quality of clinical trials for new Alzheimer’s therapies.  Prominent Alzheimer’s researchers gave presentations that highlighted emerging studies and assessments that have had some success in monitoring an individual’s cognitive decline in regards to a treatment’s efficacy. FDA officials were open to moving forward with assessing new methods for monitoring Alzheimer’s disease in the early stages and working towards a goal of having them more integrated into trials for developing treatments.  The ACT-AD Coalition hopes that follow-up discussions on this topic will lead to improvements in the therapy development process and ultimately make more effective treatment options available to patients.

To read a press release about the workshop, click here.

2009 International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease Sheds new Light on the Economic Burden of Alzheimer’s

Earlier this month, more than three thousand researchers gathered inVienna,Austriafor the Alzheimer’s Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD).  The goal of the conference was to unveil new research and theories in dementia science to a global audience.  Countless presentations, multi-media displays, and poster sessions were held. Some revealed new research by Daniel Murman, M.D., M.S., of the Department of Neurological Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and colleagues tracking the tremendous economic costs and caregiver burden for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.  This type of economic tracking will be critical as the population continues to age at an alarming rate.  Data presented at ICAD showed that the greatest burden of the disease is often placed on the caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s, especially as the disease worsens and dependence on the caregiver grows.  This stark data serves to underscore the great need for Alzheimer’s therapies that can halt the devastation caused by this disease.