Alzheimer’s disease (AD) therapeutic research is on the brink of major advance; the field is poised to add effective disease-modifying treatments to our current symptomatic agents. The basic scientific understanding of AD pathophysiology has yielded a number of exceedingly promising targets for intervention, with many drugs now in various phases of clinical testing. Whether we reach a breakthrough within five years or in fifteen years will be determined by the national will.
In addition to financial support (specifically NIH funding for AD translational research), there are several concrete steps that will facilitate progress on bringing the next generation of therapeutics to the market. These steps are related to some important issues specific to the development of disease-modifying AD treatments, as well as some broader clinical research issues.