Exponential Growth of Research, Biomarkers in Alzheimer Disease: Thomas Wisniewski, MD

The director of NYU Langone’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center discussed noticeable advancements within the field of Alzheimer disease in recent years and how they contribute to gaining a better understanding of the disease. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"One of the important insights that’s developed over the last 15 years or so is that there’s a long continuum of Alzheimer disease development with some 10 to 20 years of preclinical disease, developing before you have mild cognitive impairment, and then, ultimately, the dementia or Alzheimer disease."

With the amount of money pumped into drug development and the constant activity going on in research for Alzheimer disease (AD), there’s a lot of belief among clinicians, including Thomas Wisniewski, MD, that the field is ready for the next major breakthrough. The 2021 approval of aducanumab (Aduhelm; Biogen) was significant in that it was the first drug in a new class of medications; however, the process of how it came to market was met with controversy and complaint from the medical community.

As drug development has gone on, there have been advancements in understanding the benefits of cognitive training, improvements in health outcomes for caregivers of patients with AD, early identification of AD-related biomarkers, and growth in the knowledge of genetic factors related to AD. AD continues to be a difficult disease to understand and treat because of the ambiguity in efficient pathological targets and the necessity for treatment initiation as early as possible despite challenges in early-stage recognition.

Wisniewski, director of NYU Langone’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, believes that the strides made in biomarkers have propelled the field to new heights. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Wisniewski provided content on the emerging concepts gaining ground within AD, and their roles going forward. He also discussed how these new ideas all point toward better and earlier identification of cognitive status.

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