The causes of Alzheimers disease remain unknown. Much more is being learned, however, about the course of the disease over time. In particular, it is now clear that there are brain changes occurring for more than a decade before people begin to develop symptoms. In other words, memory loss and other typical cognitive problems in AD represent an end-stage. The investigators of the StoP-AD Centre are most interested in the changes that take place before these symptoms appear. Ultimately, we want to find ways to slow or stop the process, and so to delay the onset of the symptoms.
We have now been enrolling subjects for more than a year into our research program (PRe-symptomatic EValuation of Experimental or Novel Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease (PREVENT-AD). Most of these people are participants in a randomized placebo-controlled trial of naproxen (a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug or NSAID) in individuals at high risk for later development of AD dementia.
At this point we have a large body of data collected from participants in this trial and other PREVENT-AD research programs. Although the real “pay-off” of this work will ultimately come from longitudinal observations (collected over a time span of several years), we have already made some fascinating observations in data collected at the time of enrollment (“baseline”) into our studies.
Read a description of these findings and their potential for future research (PDF).