Experts Available for Commentary at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference:
Anticholinergics: Dr. Greg Jicha is a co-PI on INCREASE, a study of medication use in the elderly and its impact on cognitive reserve. Given that the average elderly person is taking at least five prescription mediciations, the potential impact of this study is significant. The objective is to optimize medication use and boost cognitive reserve in the elderly, which could delay the onset of symptoms of preclinical dementia. Jicha and co-PI Daniela Moga are using an anticholinergic as part of the study.
Inflammation: Linda Van Eldik has been studying dysregulated inflammation in the brain for decades and currently has a novel drug in early clinical trials with potential to become a “low-dose aspirin” for dementia. Her work on drugs that target microglial mechanisms in inflammation have applications for Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, traumatic brain injury and others.
Inflammation and TREM-2: Donna Wilcock also studies brain inflammation and currently has a $1.9 million grant that is looking at ways to therapeutically target TREM-2 in AD patients. She has a drug candidate currently being tested for safety/efficiacy in several AD mouse models.
AD-mimics and biomarkers: Progress to develop therapies is hugely dependent on identifying biomarkers. Dr. Pete Nelson led the way to characterize a new dementia called LATE and Wilcock is the SBCoA point person for a seven-center $3.6 million NINDS initiative to identify fluid biomarkers of VCID.