A new innovative programme called the ‘Dementia Prevention Initiative’ (DPI) has been developed which aims to abandon generalised methods in favour of individualised Alzheimer’s treatment.
The newly developed DPI individualises medicine down to a single Alzheimer’s disease patient rather than adopting the conventional method of trialling 100 people all getting the same Alzheimer’s treatment, meaning there will be 100 personalised treatments.
DPI is a two-year clinical trial that aims to develop a best-practice model of personalised care that looks at everyone as the sole unit of observation.
The idea is to treat neurodegenerative diseases as a disorder that develops over a lifetime and individualise ways to build a better brain as we age, with the goal of preventing dementia from happening in the first place.
How does the DPI approach work?
It follows a form of personalised treatment used similarly in cancer and delivers an individualised prevention plan which is tailored to each patient’s risk profile based on several factors, including genetic traits, lifestyle choices, socio-demographics, and co-existent medical conditions.
This approach targets the heterogeneity of Alzheimer’s disease by identifying person-specific risk factors and applying a customised intervention directed against the risk profile.
Monitoring risk factors a key to Alzheimer’s treatment?
Up to 30% of AD cases may be preventable through modification of risk factors and behavioural changes to mitigate the effect of those risk factors that can’t be modified.
On a national scale, if the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and similar disorders can be delayed by five years, then 25 years later there would be approximately 5.7 million fewer cases.
Facts about Alzheimer’s disease
- The disease is most common in Western Europe;
- Only one in four people with Alzheimer’s disease have been diagnosed; and
- It is estimated that there will be more than 60 million people worldwide who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.