Dementia can be tackled by attacking it on multiple fronts, expert says

Experts have called upon the scientific community to adopt new strategies against dementia by attacking the disease on multiple fronts.

The call was made by James A. Hendrix, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association director of global science initiatives, through a post that he penned in Scientific American’s “Observations” blog. According to Hendrix we need to come up with ways that involves advanced combination therapies against Alzheimer’s disease.

Evidence have shown that the most effective Alzheimer’s treatments may be those that attack the disease on multiple fronts. The approach has been successful in enabling individuals with once-guaranteed fatal diseases, such as HIV and cancer, to live long lives.

Advances in understanding the progression of Alzheimers point to a number of underlying biological processes involved in the development of the disease. By leveraging this knowledge, we now have a singular opportunity to pioneer new approaches against Alzheimers, including combination therapies, Hendrix notes.

The Alzheimers Association has partnered with the Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to challenge the research community to propose promising drug combinations to find more-effective treatments. The joint effort, known as the Alzheimer’s Combination Therapy Opportunities (ACTO) grant initiative, will provide $2 million this year for testing approaches that simultaneously target two or more processes believed to underlie, exacerbate, or occur in the disease.

The number of individuals with Alzheimer’s is expected to triple to 16 million by mid-century if new treatments or preventions are not found. To change this trajectory, the Alzheimer’s Association is leading and supporting a variety of initiatives to address obstacles to therapy development. These include efforts to accelerate clinical studies of combination therapies and identify novel treatment targets, such as sex and gender differences in Alzheimer’s.

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