Major developments in Alzheimer's disease research expected at symposium
More than 650 experts in the etiology and treatment of Alzheimer's disease will come from all over the world to attend the 8th International Montreal/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy to be held Wednesday through Saturday, April 14-17, 2004, at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
8th International Montreal/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy, April 14 to 17, 2004
More than 650 experts in the etiology and treatment of Alzheimer's disease will come from all over the world to attend the 8th International Montreal/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy to be held Wednesday through Saturday, April 14-17, 2004, at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The Symposium organizers, Dr Ezio Giacobini from the Department of Geriatrics at the Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève, Dr Serge Gauthier from the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, and Dr Jean-Pierre Michel from the University of Geneva, will describe its highlights at a press conference to be held Wednesday, April 14, at 12:30 pm in the Matapedia Room (press room), located on the Conference floor of the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel. A light lunch will be served.
Organized by the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, which hosted the first meeting in 1988, along with the Department of Geriatrics at the Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève, Switzerland, and the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Quebec, the International Springfield Symposia on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy are held every two years.
During the three-day symposium, experts in the fields of neurology, genomics, proteomics, pharmacology, diagnostic medicine, psychiatry, physical therapy, ergonomics, etc., will discuss significant developments in Alzheimer therapy over the last two years in such areas as stem cell treatment, gene therapy and pharmacogenomics, immunotherapy, interaction therapy-patient-caregiver or pharmacological treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in AD and related disorders, to name only a few of the 16 workshop sessions.
The presentations by 120 speakers will cover a variety of topics in AD therapy. Major developments are expected from several talks including the following presentations:
- Release of the results of the first vaccination trial of Alzheimer patients in the U.S. and Europe, by Dale Schenk, PhD, Elan Pharmaceuticals in San Francisco (1:30 pm, April 15).
- Release of a study using PET scan images of the brain to show beta amyloid deposits in living patients with very early or mild Alzheimer's disease and in individuals with memory deficits not yet diagnosed with the disease, which may provide a new technique for diagnosis, by Agneta Nordberg, PhD, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and W. Klunk, PhD, University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh (4:00 pm, April 15).
- Release of study results which show that cognitive training administered simultaneously with a cholinesterase inhibitor drug is a more effective treatment than using the drug alone, by Dr Roberto Bernabei, Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome (11:45 am, April 16).
- Release of the results of the AD cholesterol-lowering (statin) treatment trial, by Larry Sparks, PhD, Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona (11:05 am, April 17).
- Presentation of the results in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients suggesting that by binding to soluble amyloid protein alpha β (AD) Alzhemed (TM), Neurochem's investigational product candidate for AD, appears to favour a reduction of the alpha β levels in the cerebrospinal fluid, by Francine Gervais, PhD, Neurochem in Montreal (2:10 pm, April 17).
- Promising interim results after 12 months of treatment in an open-label Phase II extension study show that at least 72% of the mild AD patients had stabilized or improved performance on cognitive function tests, by Denis Garceau (poster session, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, April 17).
NB: The Springfield symposium was founded in 1988 by Ezio Giacobini, MD, PhD, who was chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at SIU School of Medicine. The first meeting was in Springfield, Illinois, with 88 scientists in attendance. The next two meetings were in Springfield in 1991 and 1994. At that time the field of Alzheimer research was rather new, just getting underway in many institutions, and there were few therapies for Alzheimer under investigation. Thus, there was no reason to meet more frequently because advances were slow in coming. As more research was done into Alzheimer's disease, the meeting has grown through the years: In 2002 there were 880 participants in Geneva. In Montreal, 650 to 700 are expected to attend the 8th International Montreal/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer Therapy.