Precision Medicine Approach to Alzheimer's Disease: Successful Pilot Project

J Alzheimers Dis. 2022;88(4):1411-1421. doi: 10.3233/JAD-215707.


Background: Effective therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease are needed. However, previous clinical trials have pre-determined a single treatment modality, such as a drug candidate or therapeutic procedure, which may be unrelated to the primary drivers of the neurodegenerative process. Therefore, increasing data set size to include the potential contributors to cognitive decline for each patient, and addressing the identified potential contributors, may represent a more effective strategy.

Objective: To determine whether a precision medicine approach to Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment is effective enough in a proof-of-concept trial to warrant a larger, randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Methods: Twenty-five patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment, with Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores of 19 or higher, were evaluated for markers of inflammation, chronic infection, dysbiosis, insulin resistance, protein glycation, vascular disease, nocturnal hypoxemia, hormone insufficiency or dysregulation, nutrient deficiency, toxin or toxicant exposure, and other biochemical parameters associated with cognitive decline. Brain magnetic resonance imaging with volumetrics was performed at baseline and study conclusion. Patients were treated for nine months with a personalized, precision medicine protocol, and cognition was assessed at t = 0, 3, 6, and 9 months.

Results: All outcome measures revealed improvement: statistically significant improvement in MoCA scores, CNS Vital Signs Neurocognitive Index, and Alzheimer's Questionnaire Change score were documented. No serious adverse events were recorded. MRI volumetrics also improved.

Conclusion: Based on the cognitive improvements observed in this study, a larger, randomized, controlled trial of the precision medicine therapeutic approach described herein is warranted.

Keywords: Clinical trial; MRI volumetrics; mild cognitive impairment; neurodegeneration; systems medicine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease* / therapy
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Precision Medicine