The Development of Technology for Alzheimer Disease: Howard Fillit, MD

Discussing recent technological advancements in the AD field, the founding executive director of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation noted the doors that these innovations have opened. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“Like most innovations in other fields, when you have new technology, then it creates all these opportunities to grow the field.”

Prior to recent advances in technology for patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), neurologists lacked any sort of blood tests for brain diseases, attributing impossibility to the blood-brain barrier. Now, though, new technology is driving the sensitivity that allows experts to detect brain biomarkers in the blood. Howard Fillit, MD, founding executive director of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss these advancements and programs in development with the potential to revolutionize the field even further.

According to Fillit, classifying people according to their pathology is vital, noting that pure AD pathology is not generally seen during an autopsy, and instead, experts see multimorbid pathology, generating questions about the disease mechanism in these patients. Digital biomarkers offer additional ways to improve efficiency in clinical trials and accelerate development, with the ADDF developing a speech and language consortium with the diagnostics accelerator, which Fillit noted the foundation is excited about, as these 2 factors start to morph early in the disease course, almost at the presymptomatic stage.

Clinical outcomes can also be bolstered by the use of everyday technology, including smartphones. As opposed to collecting data from patients enrolled in clinical trials 4 to 6 times a year, experts can collect information 365 days a year and perform cognitive testing remotely, Fillit said.