Alzheimer Europe was well-represented at this year's Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), which took place in Amsterdam from 16 to 20 July. Executive Director Jean Georges was in attendance, as were Project Officers Ana Diaz, Angela Bradshaw and Cindy Birck. Prior to the start of AAIC, Jean Georges attended a round table on Alzheimer's disease supported by Novo Nordisk on 15 July. He also represented the EU-FINGERS project at a meeting of the Worldwide FINGERS Network hosted by the Alzheimer's Association where updates were provided on multi-domain interventions in Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Latin America, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the US. He also attended a meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Alzheimer Centre Amsterdam on 19 July and was able to have bilateral meetings with a number of Alzheimer Europe partners and sponsors: Alector, Alzheimer's Association (US), Alzheon, Biogen, BMS, CEOi, Eisai, GSK, Icometrix, Lilly, Merck, Novo Nordisk, PPD, TauRx and the World Dementia Council.
On 17 July, at a featured research session entitled "Patient and public involvement in dementia research: Global perspectives", chaired by Helen Bundy Medsger and Sarah Walter, Ana Diaz gave a presentation on "Involving people with dementia in dementia research: principles, challenges and practical examples", together with Chris Roberts, Chairperson of the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD). They discussed the public involvement (PI) work conducted by Alzheimer Europe and outlined the activities of the EWGPWD, the achievements, as well as sharing some of the challenges encountered along the way. At the same session, Cindy Birck discussed public involvement in the JPND-funded EU-FINGERS project, alongside project partners and Nick Montague, a member of the EU-FINGERS Advisory Board hailing from Luxembourg. They presented the PI work conducted within the EU-FINGERS project and the Advisory Board which is led by Alzheimer Europe and coordinated with project partners. They covered aspects of the Advisory Board's organisation and strengths as well as some of the more difficult aspects of the work encountered during the project.
Angela Bradshaw represented the European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND) project at the event, where she was also a featured guest at the Alzheimer's Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) stand. The overarching goals of ADDI's AD Workbench are to encourage researchers to share datasets and resources in a secure, transparent way, and also to foster the development of new, shared tools and analytics for the benefit of the whole AD research community. The Workbench powers the EPND project's platform. Both at the EPND stand and at the ADDI stand, Angela shared information about the new EPND Cohort Catalogue and about data and bio samples available for access. Coming soon, in our EU Projects news section, we will publish two articles summarising the involvement of the EPND and EU-FINGERS projects at AAIC, and we have already published a report of the WW-FINGERS Network Meeting attended by Jean Georges.
The LETHE project also presented a poster as part of the conference programme and Ana Diaz was a co-author of this poster presentation. LETHE is a personalised prediction and intervention model for early detection and reduction of risk factors causing dementia, based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and distributed Machine Learning. A number of important research updates were presented during AAIC 2023. Here are some of the highlights:
- Proposal for revised clinical criteria for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis presented at AAIC
- Results from Lilly's TRAILBLAZER-ALZ2 clinical trial of donanemab are presented at Alzheimer's Association Conference and published in JAMA
- New study investigates the link between use of opioids and risk of death in people with dementia
- Hearing aids may reduce cognitive decline in older adults at risk of dementia, according to new findings presented at AAIC
- New research show that finger-prick blood tests can accurately identify key AD biomarkers
- Clinical study presented at AAIC finds a link between chronic constipation and cognitive decline in older adults