Commenting on the study for Medscape Medical News, Heather Snyder, PhD, director, medical and scientific relations, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, Illinois, said a number of studies have shown that lifestyle interventions can attenuate the progressive decline in cognitive function in older individuals.
Most recently, the FINGER study (Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability), which was presented earlier this year at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2014 and was reported by Medscape Medical News at that time, showed that a multipronged lifestyle intervention had a significant beneficial effect on overall cognitive performance, including memory, executive function, and psychomotor speed, in a large cohort of older participants at high risk for cognitive decline.
“The FINGER study certainly suggests that this is the kind of study we need to do in translating what Dr Bredesen did to a much larger clinical trial,” Dr Snyder said.
Dr Snyder also noted that it is clear the underlying pathology driving AD is already changing well before patients manifest overt memory loss and accompanying symptoms of the disease.
“This presents us with an opportunity to identify those individuals at the earliest stage of AD, when we can intervene with a medication or some type of nonpharmacological intervention,” she suggested.
Efforts to do just that are already under way with the launch of the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s (A4) study. The A4 study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of an investigational drug to attenuate memory loss in patients at high risk for AD.
Dr Bredesen and Dr Snyder report no relevant financial relationships.
Aging. Published online September 27, 2014