The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has outlined a proposal for a collaborative, multi-disciplinary research to develop new therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia types.

The plan is based on around 100 recommendations put forward by government, academia, industry and non-profit organisations, which participated in the ‘Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2018: Path to Treatment and Prevention’.

Held by the NIH’s National Institute on Ageing (NIA), the summit led to a reoccurring theme of precision medicine approach to prevent and treat the disease at all stages.

This type of approach is set to target underlying disease process and its symptoms based on individual disease risk profile of the patients.

“This is a critical time in Alzheimer’s research, with new opportunities to build upon what we have learned.”

In addition to the approaches, recommendations focused on tools, infrastructure and partnerships required to gain better insights into disease heterogeneity, bolster research and its reproducibility, as well as drive development of treatments using new translational tools.

NIA director Richard Hodes said: “This is a critical time in Alzheimer’s research, with new opportunities to build upon what we have learned.

“We must continue to foster creative approaches that leverage emerging scientific and technological advances, establish robust translational infrastructure for rapid and broad sharing of data and research tools, and work with funding partners and other stakeholders to cultivate and sustain an open science research ecosystem.”

Participants also called for support to develop new drugs that will target various aspects of the disease, and understanding the environmental impact on genetic and biological factors in order to accelerate prevention strategies.

Furthermore, the recommendations included using digital technologies and big data to facilitate improved discovery of early biomarkers and tracking of treatment responsiveness.