Optimal age and outcome measures for Alzheimer's disease prevention trials in people with Down syndrome

More about Open Access at the Crick


Introduction: People with Down syndrome (DS) typically develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology before age 40, but a lack of outcome measures and longitudinal data have impeded their inclusion in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methods: Cohort study. Event-based and dose-response Emax models were fitted to longitudinal cognitive data, to stage AD and determine the earliest ages of decline. Results informed sample size estimations for hypothetical RCTs of disease-modifying treatments that reduced decline by 35% or 75%. Results: Seventy-five percent of participants progressed or remained stable in the AD staging model; effect sizes varied by age group and tests. Varied treatment effects could be detected with 50-200 people per arm when using sensitive cognitive outcome measures and targeting recruitment to ages 36 to 45 years. Discussion: Efficient RCTs of AD preventative treatments can be conducted in the DS population using sensitive outcome measures to monitor early decline. Dose-response models could help tailor future RCTs.

Journal details

Volume 17
Issue number 4
Pages 595-604
Available online
Publication date