Projects per year
Consensus: Since treatments are likely to be most effective in the early stages, identification of clinically relevant brain changes (for example, amyloid burden using imaging or CSF biomarkers) will be crucial. While current biomarkers could be useful in identifying eligibility for new therapies, trial data are not available to aid decisions about stopping or continuing treatment in clinical practice. Therefore, effective monitoring of safety and effectiveness when these treatments are introduced into clinical practice will be necessary to inform wide-scale use. Equity of access is key but there is a tension between universal access for everyone with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and specifying an eligible population most likely to respond. We propose the resources necessary for an optimal care pathway as well as the necessary education and training for primary and secondary care.
Conclusion: The majority of current services in the UK and elsewhere would not be able to accommodate the specialist investigations required to select patients and prescribe these therapies. Therefore, a stepped approach would be necessary: from innovating sentinel clinical-academic centres that already have capacity to deliver the necessary phase IV trials, through early adoption in a hub and spoke model, to nationwide adoption for true equity of access. The optimism generated by recent and anticipated developments in the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease presents a great opportunity to innovate and adapt our services to incorporate the next exciting development in the field of dementia.