James Hendrix, PhD: Progress and Challenges in the Alzheimer Space

August 20, 2018
James Hendrix, PhD
James Hendrix, PhD

Hendrix spoke to the challenges he and colleagues come across, as well as his hope for the promising future.

“If we can delay the onset of Alzheimer disease by just a few years, so that we can die of something else, that looks like a cure.”

At the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, Illinois, James Hendrix, PhD, Director of Global Science Initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Association, sat down to discuss several topics in the Alzheimer space with NeurologyLive.

Hendrix first spoke about the new recommendations developed for physicians and nurse practitioners for clinical evaluation of Alzheimer disease. The guidelines encompass a broad area of care that ranges from enhancing efforts to recognize and evaluate symptoms to compassionately communicating with and supporting affected individuals and caregivers. The guidelines continue to be developed with input from key opinion leaders in the field and are expected to be published in full late 2018.

Additionally, Hendrix spoke to the challenges he and colleagues have identified in the field, as well as his hope for the promising future. Hendrix emphasizes the importance of lowering the risk of dementia as we age by maintaining good health, mental stimulation, social engagement and exercising, especially as researchers learn more about these areas and the impact they have on dementia risk.

He also expresses his excitement about the development of biomarkers, both imaging biomarkers and fluid-based biomarkers that are aiding the development of new drugs allowing researchers to identify the right patient, for the right drug, at the right time. The biomarkers have such a broad range of application, from the basic understanding of the disease through to the development of new therapies.

Lastly, Hendrix closes by joyously adding that at this year’s conference a record was broken with 5700 attendees, which speaks to the great momentum in the field from increased funding to attaining and retaining the best and the brightest in the space in order to combat this disease.