CAF Research Consortium Member featured in Nature Weekly Release

Posted July 13, 2011

On Wednesday, July 13, Dr. Sam Gandy’s commentary regarding the early treatment of Alzheimer’s was featured in a weekly press release sent out by Nature. Gandy, a CAF research consortium member, submitted a Perspective column addressing the need for early testing.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Attempts to reduce the aggregates of amyloid-beta protein in the brains of patients with dementia have failed, but a Perspective in a Nature Outlook on Alzheimer’s disease this week argues that clinicians should test treatments in people before the onset of symptoms. Sam Gandy contends that to properly assess the merits of any aggregation-preventing treatment, we need to test agents on those most at risk of developing the disease, in some cases up to 20 years before the build-up of amyloid-beta plaque takes its toll on cognition.

The need to understand this puzzling disease is urgent: the number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease is rapidly rising as the global population ages, and incidence is projected to reach 115 million by 2050. As the amyloid hypothesis comes under greater scrutiny in the wake of these drug failures, scientists are looking for inspiration in other neurodegenerative conditions. The infectious-like qualities of prions in scrapie (which afflicts sheep) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) shed light on how Alzheimer’s disease initiates and propagates. In fact, when Alzheimer’s disease first came to prominence in the early 1980s, it was originally suspected to be a prion disease, and the field has now come full circle.

To visit Nature’s website, click here.