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The 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerMarch 4, 2015

The Alzheimer‘s Disease Research Summit’s “Path to Treatment and Prevention” occurred on February 9-10 in Bethesda, Maryland. The two day summit brought researchers and health leaders together to evaluate their progress on a treatment or cure for Alzheimer‘s by 2025. Learn more about the summit and its goal to effectively treat Alzheimer‘s in the next decade.

Updating the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease

The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit’s 2015 “Path to Treatment and Prevention” was held February 9-10 in Bethesda, Maryland and was hosted by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), as well as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was also privately supported through the Foundation for the NIH.

The goal of this years summit was to:

“Continue the development of an integrated multidisciplinary research agenda necessary to address critical knowledge gaps and accelerate the discovery and delivery of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s patients at all stages of disease.”

Top researchers from around the world convened for the two day summit and discussed progress made since their last meeting in 2012. They refreshed their goals and objectives to update the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, and set a goal to have a plan to treat and end Alzheimer’s by the year 2025.

Main discussion points of the Summit included:

  • Evaluating the progress of present and future clinical trials as well as evaluating failed trials
  • Hunting for effective targets of Alzheimer’s other than beta-amyloid and tau proteins
  • Searching for clues to prevention
  • Improved data sharing for ongoing research projects
  • Ways to better engage participants in the research and
  • How to better involve citizen scientists to analyze large amounts of data from ongoing projects

The Importance of Treating Alzheimer’s by 2025

The summit brought together leaders from the neuroscience field in an unprecedented way, and gave the NIA an opportunity to survey the progress made since launching the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s.  The primary goal of the plan is to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.

As the meeting commenced, George Vradenburg of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s said, “The field has begun to come together in ways that it never has before, in identifying an overall strategy for the field.  There’s a sense of urgency associated with the 2025 — it’s finally taking hold in a real way.”

The Alzheimers Association recently released a report entitled, “Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s Disease: How a Treatment by 2025 Saves Lives and Dollars.” According to the economic report, the U.S. could save $220 billion within the first five years following a treatment for Alzheimer’s. The report also called for more research funding, stating that if the government invests $2 billion per year for the next 10 years into research, it would be able to reclaim the investment within the first three years following a treatment.

While no treatment or cure has yet been found, the summit is a step in the right direction and shows a focused effort on eradicating the disease.

What do you think about the goal to eradicate Alzheimer‘s by 2025? Is it an attainable goal? What needs to happen to make that goal a reality? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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