Medical experts from around the world gathered to discuss the latest breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and treatment during the 11th Annual Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) Symposium, hosted by The Wien Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders at Mount Sinai Medical Center. The symposium, held on January 19th and 20th at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa, provided a forum for new information and in-depth discussions about upcoming clinical trials and advances in research related to the clinical diagnosis and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
This symposium is especially significant as current clinical research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s focuses on patients with MCI. People with MCI have more memory problems than others their age, but their symptoms are not as severe as the symptoms seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease. However, patients with MCI have a greater potential of developing Alzheimer’s. The earliest possible diagnosis can lead to pharmacological treatment and non-pharmacological interventions to slow the progression of the disease.
Twenty-five distinguished neurological experts from areas around the world – including Sweden, Australia and Netherlands, as well as U.S. cities such as Miami, Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Phoenix, Boston, Philadelphia, Berkeley, Atlanta and more – presented the latest information on the earliest stages of cognitive decline. In addition, the symposium featured keynote speeches by two distinguished experts. Todd Golde, M.D., PhD, director of the University of Florida’s Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, delivered a presentation titled, “Solving the Dilemma of Treatment Versus Prevention Strategies for Alzheimer’s Disease.” Eric Reiman, M.D., executive director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, addressed “Launching the Era of Alzheimer’s Prevention Research”.
This year’s event also featured the 2nd Annual Early Alzheimer’s Diagnostic and Treatment Workshop, which explored how newly developed diagnostic tests can be used successfully in the early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s. The symposium also included the 1st Annual MCI Public Education Forum, which gave members of the community the opportunity to interact in a panel discussion with medical experts.
The MCI Symposium began in 2003 under the direction of Ranjan Duara, M.D., medical director of the Wien Center. Thanks to the generosity of Marilyn “Lynn” Girsh, the Wien Center will receive financial support to continue the symposium for the next 20 years.
“I was very impressed with the work that Dr. Duara is doing at the Wien Center,” said Girsh. “And I especially appreciated the idea of an international symposium bringing researchers together to share their findings and discuss new ideas on treating Alzheimer’s. If there is any possibility of finding a cure, I would like to do what I can to help.”
Unless new treatment options are found to prevent Alzheimer’s or delay its onset, it is projected that 13 million people in the U.S. will have the disease by 2050. Since the development of criteria for Alzheimer’s 25 years ago, major advances in understanding of the biology and early clinical features of the disease have led to improvement in clinical assessments.
“Our goal is to continue hosting the symposium to help researchers gain a greater understanding of Alzheimer’s and eventually discover new treatment options that will delay, prevent or cure the disease,” Dr. Duara said.