Alzheimer's Biomarker Initiative Hits Its Stride

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Science  16 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5951, pp. 386-389
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_386

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The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), an effort to develop biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease, is churning out new data and making plans to expand. ADNI researchers are now poring over brain scans and other biomarker data to document changes as people who started out with a clean slate of cognitive health have developed mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often presages Alzheimer's, and as those with MCI have progressed to Alzheimer's. ADNI's organizers caution that it's too early to draw definitive conclusions, but some potentially useful lessons are emerging, including hints about which biomarkers best track different stages of the disease. Pharmaceutical companies are already incorporating some of the ADNI measures into clinical trials, and researchers in Europe, Asia, and Australia are developing similar initiatives.