How Personalized Treatments Could Be the Key to Alzheimer’s
Delivering personalized medicine that is customized to each person’s unique physiology has been a goal of medical professionals for decades. Now, Alzheimer’s disease researchers have developed a personalized Therapeutic Intervention Fingerprint (pTIF) that can predict the effectiveness of targeting biological factors like beta-amyloid, inflammation and tau deposition) to control the disease in each individual person.
Learn more about this study and why when it comes to Alzheimer’s, a personalized approach and personalized treatments may be best.
Applying Individual Genetics and Personalized Treatments to Alzheimer’s
A new study, published in the journal Neuroimage, evaluated the effectiveness of targeting specific biological factors for controlling the progression of Alzheimer’s.
The study, led by Yasser Iturria-Medina, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University, researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institutes and the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health, evaluated data from 331 people. Some participants had Alzheimer’s and others were healthy. Using MRI and PET scans, the research team categorized participants into pTIF subtypes.
The researchers were then able to see that patients with the same pTIF subtypes has similar gene expression. Because current drugs that control the progression of the disease modify brain properties and gene expression simultaneously, drugs tailored to certain pTIF subtypes would be a more effective treatment than drugs that treat all people universally.
“In keeping with the tenets of personalized medicine [and personalized treatments], the introduced framework could lead to more effective medical care, decreased undesired secondary effects and substantial reduction of pharmaceutical/clinical costs associated with clinical trials, thereby accelerating the creation-evaluation cycle of new therapeutic agents,” says Iturria-Medina.
The first study to determine a direct link between brain functions and estimated therapeutic responses, it will hopefully allow drugs to be designed for a person’s unique gene expression, improving the effectiveness and even potentially reducing the cost of clinical trials.
“Our future work will focus on applying the pTIF to other neurological disorders, extensively validating it, and importantly, making the resulting analytic tools available to the international community, via open-access platforms,” Iturria-Medina says.
What do you think about pTIF being used as an Alzheimer’s treatment? Would you be willing to undergo personalized treatments for Alzheimer’s? We’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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