Fortune magazine early this year stated, "Few spaces in the life sciences have fathered failure to the extent that experimental Alzheimer’s drugs have. In the past year alone, at least a half-dozen Alzheimer’s drug hopefuls from major pharmaceutical companies bit the dust. What’s more, there’s an ongoing debate about what should be the main focus area—amyloid plaque, some other biological marker, or a combination strategy?"--Alzheimer's: A Trail of Disappointment for Big Pharma.
I’m not going to do some sort of victory dance, because (once again) this is bad news for Alzheimer’s patients and for their families. I know that I have written many times that I thought this program would fail – I was cautious in 2015, cautious earlier last year, and much more than cautious just a few weeks later. My views on amyloid antibodies are well known, for the little that’s worth. I had no real expectations that aducanumab would work, despite all the attempts at positive spin over the years, and by golly, it doesn’t work. That doesn’t make me a prophet – I think any objective observer would have to have come to the same conclusion. Biogen and Eisai put themselves into this situation, although they definitely made it worse by trying to pretend that things were going differently than they have for every single other amyloid antibody program ever. They have all failed. One after another, again and again.--Derek Lowe
Aging leads to atrophy and reduced function of most organs throughout the body, including the brain. Lifestyle choices have measurable positive and negative effects on aging such that healthful eating habits and regular physical and mental exercise help preserve cognitive function, whereas poor lifestyle choices accelerate physical and functional aging.
Furthermore, aging is the most consistent and dominant risk factor for neurodegeneration. One of the main difference between aging and neurodegeneration is that with aging, the brain exhibits modest degrees of atrophy and functional loss over a period of years, whereas in AD, the declines are swifter and relentless, driving formerly fully functioning people to eventual end-stage vegetative states.
These concepts suggest that lifestyle measures that either curtail or exacerbate the aging process may also modulate risk and rates of developing AD as well as other neurodegenerative diseases--S.M. de La Monte
I am looking forward to a related presentation on Alzheimer's disease, Engineering the Future of Medicine: Predicting Alzheimer's disease.
Computational medicine, as defined by JHU, "...is an emerging discipline devoted to the development of quantitative approaches for understanding the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of human disease through applications of mathematics, engineering and computational science."
Watch this space for related topics and a run-down of the discussions.
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