Developing a tool to diagnose and manage the development of the elderly, a condition commonly called Prenatal Developmental Disorder (PDD), could be a “game changer” for the field of dementia research, said Dr. Paul Geddes, a professor of neurology at the University of Illinois.
Prenatally Diagnosed Developmental Disorders are an area of research in dementia research because they often occur in adults as children and adults are often not able to recognize signs of these disorders.
“There is no standard, and it is not clear if there is one for the population,” Gedde said.
“We want to make sure we can make that standard, so we can develop a tool that would allow us to identify and identify the early signs of PPD.”
Geddes is working with researchers at the National Institute of Aging (NIA) to develop a clinical trial that would test the accuracy of a test developed by Dr. Christopher L. Buechner, M.D., a professor in the division of neurodegenerative diseases at Johns Hopkins University, which uses a combination of video recordings and brain scans to diagnose the illness.
“It’s not something that has been done before,” said Drs.
William A. Zarembo, MEd., and Brian E. O’Keefe, MSc., who lead the clinical trials.
“It’s a lot of work, but we believe it is a game changer.”
The goal of the clinical trial, which will be called the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment and Treatment Study (ADATUS), is to determine if using a standardized tool to identify PPD early can be used to improve diagnosis and treatment.
ADATUS will be an independent, non-profit research organization that will conduct clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of the ADATUBS tool and develop a standardized diagnostic tool that will be integrated into clinical practice.
“We are very excited to have Dr. Buesner and Dr. Zares at the helm of the team,” said Mary Ellen O’Connor, the senior vice president of clinical services at ADATUs, which is a part of the Alzheimer Disease Association.
“There is such a large population of people in our country with dementia, and this is a very exciting opportunity to really get the attention of people at the beginning of their dementia.”
The ADATS trial is expected to last about a year and a half, and is expected provide more than 400 participants.
Participants will be asked to participate in two clinical trials: one designed to assess the accuracy and effectiveness of a tool developed by a doctor and a second that will evaluate the reliability of the tool and the potential benefits of incorporating it into clinical care.
Participating patients will have to complete two questions: one to identify signs of developmental disorders such as PPD, and the other to provide their age at onset of Prenattic Disorder, which could be anywhere between 10 to 70 years old.
They will also be asked about their mental health.
The tools developed for PPD will be tested in a clinical study that will determine whether they provide the accurate diagnosis and the ability to predict the onset of dementia.
The results of this study will be published as an independent clinical trial and, if it confirms the validity of the tools, may be included in clinical practice guidelines for people with PPD.
“One of the biggest challenges of PDE is it is very hard to distinguish it from other forms of dementia,” said O’Donnell.
“But in the past, we’ve not been able to determine the exact timing of onset.”
Dr. Buelber, who is also a member of the American Society of Neuropathology (ASN) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), said that there are many clinical trials underway that have shown that using the ADTUBS diagnostic tool can provide early detection and treatment of PDP.
“In clinical practice, this is very helpful because it gives people a diagnosis that is very specific and can be tailored to the individual,” Buelberg said.
The ADTUS clinical trial will include 1,000 participants, and will be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“It will be the first clinical trial for this tool to be conducted in a randomized clinical trial.
We’re very excited about this and are working with a team that is committed to making this work,” said Zarem.”
The clinical trials are just the beginning.
The tool is an integral part of our efforts to identify biomarkers for dementia in people who are at high risk for developing dementia,” O’Dell said.”
This is an exciting time in the field, and we will continue to be working with the National Alliance for Alzheimer’s and Dementia to develop our clinical tools to improve the accuracy, predictability and safety of diagnosis of this disease.”