Pathing the Next Steps in Alzheimer Disease Research: Heather Snyder, PhD


The vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association discussed where the organization’s efforts are currently invested and the ways to continue momentum in the Alzheimer disease field. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"There's been a lot of attention in trying to understand how real-world data can generate the evidence that's necessary so we can establish care guidelines for all individuals. How do we think about ensuring access and understanding health disparities and building out how health equity in our communities more broadly?"

As the world continues to age, the prevalence of Alzheimer disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disorder, continues to grow. Currently, there is an estimated 6.2 million individuals living with AD dementia in the United States and an estimated 50 million individuals with AD dementia globally.

In recent years, there have been several significant advances in the understanding of the disease, leading to some of the first approved medicines in nearly 2 decades. Drug development remains at an all-time high, as there were 187 reported trials assessing 141 unique treatments for AD as of January 1, 2023. Notably, disease-modifying agents were the most common drugs comprising 79% of drugs in trials.1 The variety in the mechanisms of action of agents within the pipeline, including the exploration of repurposed drugs, spoke to the progress made in the field, and the thought of treating the disease from multiple avenues.

Shortly after the 2023 Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference, held October 4-27, in Boston, Massachusetts, NeurologyLive® sat down with Heather Snyder, PhD, vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association, to discuss the organization’s ongoing efforts. She spoke about where the field is headed, some of the major themes in research, and where more attention may be needed. Furthermore, she provided thoughts the impact of changes to AD care from a global perspective and the need to ensure proper access and education to underserved communities.

1. Cummings J, Zhou Y, Lee G, Zhong K, Fonseca J, Cheng F. Alzheimer’s disease drug development pipeline: 2023. Alzheimer’s Dement. 2023;9(2):e12385. doi:10.1002/trc2.12385
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