This week's Neurology News Network covered multiple studies that suggest vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia may reduce Alzheimer disease incidence, the FDA approval of Abbott's Patient Controller app, and the accepted supplemental new drug application for pimavanserin in patients with dementia-related psychosis. 

Welcome to this special edition of Neurology News Network. I’m Marco Meglio. Please excuse our appearance this week as a majority of the US workforce, including the NeurologyLive team, moves to working remote as we come together to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

The findings from a number of studies presented virtually at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2020 annual meeting suggest that vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia may help reduce the incidence of Alzheimer disease dementia. All told, the 3 studies suggest that more frequent flu vaccination was associated with a 13% reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer, while vaccination between the ages of 65 and 75 years was linked to a gene-dependent reduction of Alzheimer by up to 40%. Additionally, the third implied that 1 influenza vaccination reduced the incidence of Alzheimer by 17% according to a large clinical database. Notably, the work by Janet Janbek, PhD student, Danish Dementia Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, et al. found that mortality risk was twice as high—a 6-fold total increase—for those with dementia after infections compared to those without dementia after infection, which led to a 3-fold increase.

Abbott announced that the FDA has approved the company’s Patient Controller app which allows patients living with neurological conditions, including chronic pain or movement disorders, the ability to manage their neuromodulation-based therapy directly from their personal smartphone. The app’s unique build eliminates the need for patients to carry a separate programmer device, ultimately streamlining the patient’s experience and seamlessly integrating therapy management right to their phone. It will be integrated into Abbott’s broader NeuroSphere Digital Care connected care management platform, which became available in May. The Patient Controller app will be made available in the coming weeks, according to designer Abbott.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals has announced that the FDA has accepted its supplemental new drug application for pimavanserin (Nuplazid) for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with dementia-related psychosis. The sNDA is supported by the results of the phase 3 HARMONY study, in which pimavanserin met the primary end point, demonstrating a significant reduction in the risk of relapse of psychosis by 2.8-fold compared to placebo. Data from the phase 2 (-019) study in patients with Alzheimer disease psychosis and the phase 3 (-20) study in patients with Parkinson disease psychosis, both of which also met their primary end points, also attributed to the sNDA. The regulatory agency has set prescription drug user fee act action date of April 3, 2021, for the Acadia Pharmaceuticals product.

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