Neuroscientists to Reveal New Insights into Alzheimer's

UCSF experts join CTAD conference to present on amyloid positivity in women and racial/ethnic groups, PET readings in clinical settings and e-screening for dementia.

By Suzanne Leigh

Dementia experts from UC San Francisco will join their peers from around the globe at the annual Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference in Boston from Oct. 24 to 27.

Presentations cover breakthroughs in therapies that clear amyloid – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s – and a symposium on patients with early Alzheimer’s symptoms who were treated with the anti-amyloid medication donanemab, which may be approved by the end of the year. Other topics include novel treatments, diagnostic blood biomarkers, amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA) and Medicare coverage.

This year’s keynotes will address disease modifying treatments, how to develop more equitable and valid trials, emerging therapies, Alzheimer’s prevention studies, and ARIA in mice and its implications in people.

CTAD brings together leaders from academic research centers, patient advocacy groups, international research coalitions and pharmaceutical companies.

UCSF presentations include the following:

•    Charles Windon, MD, will present Race and Sex Effects on Rates of Amyloid-Positivity in Real-World Memory Care. Using data from 17,000 participants enrolled in the IDEAS study, Windon and colleagues looked at PET scans in female and African American, Latino and Asian individuals, to evaluate ethnocultural and sex differences in amyloid rates.  The presentation is part of a symposium starting at 4:55 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Windon will be joined by Gil Rabinovici, MD, senior author of the study.

•    Renaud La Joie, PhD, will present Quantitative Amyloid-PET in Real-World Practice. Amyloid PET scans are required to ensure that patients who have or may be developing symptoms of dementia are candidates for anti-amyloid therapies like lecanemab (Leqembi). In this study, La Joie and colleagues quantified amyloid deposits from more than 10,000 PET scans taken from clinical settings in the IDEAS study, rather than academic settings, which follow strict protocols, to see if readings were consistent with the scans. The presentation takes place at 11 a.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 27. La Joie will be joined by Gil Rabinovici, MD, senior author of the study.

•    Rachel Nosheny, PhD, will present Establishing the Validity of a Novel Electronic Clinical Dementia Rating. Many older adults who have cognitive impairment, or who are at risk of getting it, go undiagnosed. Nosheny and colleagues tested the validity of an electronic version of the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), which screens for and determines the stages of dementia. The eCDR can be self-administered. The presentation takes place at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 27. Nosheny will be joined by Yan Li, PhD, of Washington University, St. Louis, senior author of the study.

•    Also present will be Adam Boxer, MD, PhD, principal investigator and project leader of the Alzheimer’s Tau Platform trial, which received a $151 million grant from the National Institute on Aging. The trial will combine an anti-amyloid therapy with tau therapies, the first of its kind for late-onset Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. 

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