The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is advancing age. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified some of the key changes in the aging brain that lead to the increased risk. The changes center on amyloid beta 42, a main ingredient of Alzheimer’s brain plaques.
Three promising biomarkers being studied to detect Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages appear to undergo a surprising shift as patients develop symptoms of dementia, researchers led by Anne Fagan, PhD, at the School of Medicine report.
Leading scientists have selected the first drugs to be evaluated in a worldwide clinical trial to determine whether they can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The pioneering trial, expected to start by early 2013, initially will test three promising drugs, each designed to target Alzheimer’s in different ways.
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received nearly $4.2 million from the Alzheimer’s Association to accelerate the launch of the first clinical trials to prevent Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms become apparent. John C. Morris, MD, the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Professor of Neurology, heads the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network at the School of Medicine.