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December 2016

Unfinished Business in Preventing Alzheimer Disease

Author Affiliations
  • 1Perelman School of Medicine, Departments of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology, Penn Program for Precision Medicine for the Brain, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Institute for Social Research, Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(12):1739-1740. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6310

By law, the United States has a plan to address Alzheimer disease.1 The first of the National Alzheimer Project Act’s 5 goals is the discovery by 2025 of interventions that prevent and effectively treat the disease. The eTable in the Supplement summarizes 5 current prevention trials, most supported jointly by the National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical companies.2 This alignment of public and private interests, shared resources, and the willingness of thousands of cognitively normal adults with heightened genetic or biomarker risk of Alzheimer disease to enroll in trials are signs of progress. The plan is missing an important strategy, however.

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