Biomarkers, Tech Advances to Improve Alzheimer Disease Prevention: Pierre N. Tariot, MD


The director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute spoke on the importance of biomarkers in Alzheimer disease, as well as the ongoing improvements in digital technologies.

“I do believe in my heart, that our best chance of making real advances [in Alzheimer disease and related diseases] will be treating as early as possible. When you want to put the fire out? When it's a stove fire in the kitchen or when the house is in flames? I think the answer is obvious.”

Coinciding with his presentation on safety data for the use of pimavanserin in treating dementia-related psychosis at the 2021 Alzheimer Association International Conference (AAIC), July 26-30, Pierre N. Tariot, MD, director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss prevention efforts within the Alzheimer disease (AD) space and hot topics discussed at the conference. 

Tariot commented specifically on the significance of blood biomarkers and spinal fluid, as well as the potential for early detection and treatment of AD. Tariot noted how “edgy” the research in blood biomarkers has become, as BAI recently announced a partnership with Eli Lilly in the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 3 trial of the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for AD, donanemab, which is recruiting patients based on age, a telephone screening interview, and a blood test.1,2 

Although treating patients already living with symptoms remains a top priority, presentations at AAIC 2021 further outlined additional advancements in imaging via digital technologies, making strides in the way experts evaluate patients’ changing brain health. These also may offer a way to leverage novel and current biomarkers to improve treatment approaches and timing.

For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.

1. Tariot P, Cummings JL, Soto-Martin ME, et al. Trial of Pimavanserin in Dementia-Related Psychosis. N Engl J Med. 2021; 385:309-319. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2034634
2. Demos G, Foff EP, McEvoy B, Skoog B. Pimavanserin and concomitant antidementia medication use in patients with neurodegenerative and/or neurovascular disorders: safety outcomes from pooled clinical data and the HARMONY study. Presented at: AAIC 2021; Denver, Colorado; July 26-30. Poster 57661. 
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