Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a growing health problem worldwide and currently available treatments are of limited efficacy. Prevention of AD may be a more relevant goal, particularly in lower and middle-income countries. Studies of AD prevention however, are challenging, in part because of the unpredictable onset of the disease in elderly individuals. Persons inheriting mutations causing fully-penetrant autosomal dominant familial AD (FAD) provide an informative and motivated population for assessing the efficacy of AD prevention strategies. The PI has been working with clinician investigators in Mexico for 10 years, characterizing multiple families with FAD due to PSEN1 or APP mutations. Multi-center collaborative efforts to perform prevention trials in preclinical persons carrying FAD mutations are underway (the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network in which the PI is a site investigator and the Alzheimer Prevention Initiative) but such efforts have not reached Mexico. The capacity to perform FAD prevention trials in Mexico may be limited due to lack of understanding among families and physicians of the disease and its genetic nature as well as by the availability of infrastructure including personnel appropriately trained to perform such studies. The goal of this project is to enhance the ability of Mexican investigators to perform such studies through the following specific aims:
Aim 1) Enhance local capacity to perform quality cognitive, clinical, imaging, and biochemical assessments as outcome measures for prevention trials in Mexico. This project will be the planning stage in which the possibility of exchange programs wherein health professionals from Mexico come to the UCLA to receive specialty training in dementia diagnosis, management, and research will be explored.
Aim 2) Investigate attitudes towards and promote education regarding AD, genetics, FAD, and prevention trial procedures among members of families with FAD in Mexico.
Aim 3) Establish a registry of persons eligible for participation in prevention trials for FAD.
The goal of this proposal is to facilitate intervention studies to prevent FAD in preclinical mutation carriers in Mexico through a research and training collaboration involving personnel from three institutions: the National Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Mexico City, the University of Guadalajara, and UCLA. We anticipate that this project will not only facilitate execution of such trials but also facilitate the diagnosis and car of persons with dementia in Mexico in general.