Phases for Alzheimer's Disease Research Created

A 5-step sequential process for identifying Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers has been created.

Researchers created a 5-phase roadmap for biomarker development in Alzheimer’s disease to aid other scientists, funding agencies, and policy makers.

Investigators noticed a lack of sequential studies and noticed biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease were being investigated and developed at different rates, according to a study presented at the Second Congress of the Europe Academy of Neurology.

"We currently lack a coordinated approach in biomarker development at European and international level," researcher Giovanni Frisoni said. "Clear-cut research priorities could accelerate a great many things, for instance, authorization by regulatory agencies, reimbursement by payers, implementation in clinical practice, and ultimately the development of effective treatments."

Their goal was to increase the progress of research by implementing the following 5 sequential phases:

  • Preclinical exploratory studies
  • Clinical assay development for clinical disease
  • Prospective longitudinal repository studies
  • Prospective diagnostic studies
  • Disease control studies

According to the study, researchers assessed the current maturity of biomarkers through literature on neuropsychology, amyloid imaging, CSF A?-beta, the proteins tau and phospho-tau, FDG-PET, hippocampal atrophy, 123I-MIBG and 123I-Ioflupane SPECT.

Researchers found that all relevant biomarkers passed through the first phase. However, phases 2 and 3 are not addressed consistently by current information and only some preliminary information is available for phase 4.

Researchers found no information that would address phase 5, according to the study.

"This result shows us clearly the areas on which the scientific community must focus next in order to help Alzheimer patients better in the future,” Frisoni concluded.