SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 3, 2012) - Neurotrack, an early stage company, today launched at DEMO Fall 2012 a breakthrough technology that can diagnose Alzheimer's disease years before clinical symptoms appear. Based on results from a 5-year longitudinal study funded by the NIH, this computer-based recognition memory test has been able to predict Alzheimer's at least three to four years before clinical symptoms appear with 99% accuracy.
"One of the biggest hurdles that pharmaceutical companies face in the development of preventive drugs for Alzheimer's disease is populating their clinical trials with appropriate candidates -- those who are pre-symptomatic but who have Alzheimer's disease," said Elizabeth Buffalo, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Emory University in Atlanta. "It is estimated that 80% of candidates who are part of Alzheimer's trials fail out at some point over the course of the trial because they no longer meet trial criteria," said Buffalo.
Neurotrack's technology will enable pharmaceutical companies and researchers to recruit qualified candidates for clinical trials, and more effectively measure drug efficacy, speeding up drug discovery and development. It is poised to become the gold standard for early clinical screening of Alzheimer's and other dementia related disorders.
"Unlike other diagnostic tools on the market, Neurotrack's test focuses on memory ability that critically depends on the integrity of the hippocampus, one of the first areas of the brain that is affected in the course of Alzheimer's," said Stuart Zola, PhD, Director of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University. "Our hope is that this tool will allow us to determine who is on the trajectory for Alzheimer's and then provide intervention at a time when the brain is less compromised," said Zola.
The technology was developed at Emory University by Drs. Stuart Zola, Elizabeth Buffalo, and Eugene Agichtein and Cecelia Manzanares.
About Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Most often, AD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with AD, and by 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease.
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