Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease – A Virtual Town Hall Meeting

On Wednesday, 9 July 2008, 2:00-3:30 p.m. (U.S. EST), Alzforum held a Virtual Town Hall on a subject of tremendous strategic importance in the fight against Alzheimer disease: early detection. Alzforum was honored to welcome our guest moderator, Harold Varmus, Nobel laureate, former director of the National Institutes of Health, and president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Varmus is a member of the Alzheimer’s Study Group (ASG), an independent working group mandated by the United States Congress to develop a national strategic plan for Alzheimer disease (see ARF related news story). This Webinar will be transcribed and delivered to the ASG. We thank the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative for its generous sponsorship of this town hall. Registration is required.

There is a consensus among AD researchers that therapies will be most effective if given early. But how can treatments be developed when there are not yet accepted diagnostics or clinical trial designs for such early-stage AD trials? Even if such therapies are developed, how will the public be educated and motivated to ask for early diagnosis? How will physicians respond? The past decade has seen encouraging progress in both the tools for early diagnosis and in candidate drugs. The Alzforum has invited a panel of thought leaders to give brief presentations about the most promising advances and frustrating bottlenecks in their areas of expertise. The panel members and their presentations were as follows:

June Kinoshita, Executive Editor, Alzheimer Research Forum

Introductory remarks
Harold Varmus, M.D., President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

About the Alzheimer’s Study Group
Rob Egge, Center for Health Transformation

The strategic importance and challenges of early detection of AD
Sid Gilman, M.D., Director, Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Early-stage and preclinical AD
John Morris, M.D., Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Washington University St. Louis

Imaging biomarkers for early detection of AD
Michael W. Weiner, M.D., Principal Investigator, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative Director, Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disease, VA Medical Center, San Francisco

Early detection of AD: fluid biomarkers
Anne Fagan, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor of Neurology, Washington University, St. Louis

Translating early detection to the clinic
Doug Galasko, M.D., Interim Director of UCSD Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

The role of clinical and research Centers of Excellence in early diagnosis
Rachelle Smith Doody, M.D., Ph.D., Effie Marie Cain Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Baylor College of Medicine

What pharma has/what pharma needs
Richard Mohs, PhD., Leader, Alzheimer’s Disease Team, Eli Lilly and Company

Early detection of AD: The patient’s and caregiver’s perspective
Bill Bridgwater, patient advocate, National Board of Alzheimer’s Association

Early detection and drug development: a brief overview
Paul Aisen, M.D., University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine’s Department of Neurosciences, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS)

Video credits to ARFvideos YouTube channel

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Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease – A Virtual Town Hall Meeting

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