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Better Detection, Prevention, and Pre-Clinical Treatment: Three Effective Tools in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Experts Report on Current Strategies in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

December 5, 2014
Detection, prevention, and preclinical treatment are three key areas that may make a difference in the battle to reduce the rapid rise of new Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases every year. These three topics are the focus of an important new supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Organized by Guest Editor Jack de la Torre, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuropsychology at The University of Texas at Austin, the supplement is a novel guide to how Alzheimer dementia may be approached and managed right now, not years from now. It includes 23 articles contributed by an international group of noted AD experts. “This issue will be of interest to established researchers and young investigators seeking a broader knowledge of the AD problem, as well as to clinicians who deal with elderly patients or with individuals who may show up at their clinics as outpatients showing signs of cognitive dysfunction,” notes Dr. de la Torre.

Coverage of detection includes insightful reviews and discussions of techniques and strategies that seek ways to identify AD before it starts, such as risk factors to dementia, retinal pathology, cardiovascular disorders, neurocognitive testing, assorted brain markers, hemodynamic changes, and neuroimaging assorted brain lesions.

In the area of prevention, investigators explore how a multidisciplinary approach involving brain and heart specialists can better create a plan of intervention for patients at risk of AD or for people presenting preclinical signs of dementia. Additional reviews in prevention include risk assessments to dementia, lifestyle and cognitive counseling to maintain normal cognition, and established preventive techniques that can help delay AD onset.

The final topic centers on pre-clinical AD treatment. Contributions suggest how effective pre-clinical treatments of AD offer the hope of significantly lowering skyrocketing incidence while extending healthcare and quality of life.

While these treatments are still at the experimental stage, they may offer a departure from the failed attempts of amyloid-beta therapy.  As an example, a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin led by Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima have demonstrated that oral administration of methylene blue, a substance used since the 19th century to treat many medical disorders, lessens learning and memory loss in rats with a poor blood supply to the brain caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in older people has been shown to be an important risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Methylene blue appears to improve memory and learning in these animals by increasing mitochondrial energy activity in the brain. Mitochondrial energy dysfunction in the brain is not uncommon during advanced aging in the presence of disorders such as carotid occlusion, hypertension, brain trauma, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Mitochondrial respiration leading to cognitive decline is also affected years before the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in predisposed individuals.  The results of this study suggests that daily oral administration of low dose methylene blue USP in elderly people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease can be a useful treatment to prevent the start of memory decline or the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Dr de la Torre, “It seems an auspicious moment to open a dialogue between those pursuing a treatment for AD and those favoring prevention of this dementia. Such a dialogue could lead to a more effective course of action in confronting the needs of AD patients and those at risk of developing this disorder. The reviews contained in this supplementary issue of JAD may set the stage for such a discourse and in addition, provide some viable tracks on the road to discovering a realistic pathway for coping with this grim disorder.”

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Alzheimer’s Disease: Detection, Prevention, and Preclinical Treatment

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Supplement 4, (October 2014)

Guest Editor: Jack C. de la Torre, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuropsychology (Adjunct), The University of Texas at Austin

Full Table of Contents of this issue:

Full text of the articles are available to credentialed journalists upon request. Contact Daphne Watrin, IOS Press, at +31 20 688 3355,  to obtain a copy or additional information. Reporters who wish to speak to Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima regarding his study may contact him directly at Other interview requests or questions about the supplement or individual articles should be directed to Dr. de la Torre at 760- 703-0585 or


The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease is an international multidisciplinary journal to facilitate progress in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, genetics, behavior, treatment and psychology of Alzheimer’s disease. The journal publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, book reviews, and letters-to-the-editor. Groundbreaking research that has appeared in the journal includes novel therapeutic targets, mechanisms of disease and clinical trial outcomes. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has an Impact Factor of 3.612 according to Thomson Reuters’ 2013 Journal Citation Reports. It is ranked #22 on the Index Copernicus Top 100 Journal List. The Journal is published by IOS Press


Commencing its publishing activities in 1987, IOS Press serves the information needs of scientific and medical communities worldwide. IOS Press now (co-)publishes over 100 international journals and about 130 book titles each year on subjects ranging from computer sciences and mathematics to medicine and the natural sciences.

IOS Press continues its rapid growth, embracing new technologies for the timely dissemination of information. All journals are available electronically and an e-book platform was launched in 2005.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with satellite offices in the USA, Germany, India and China, IOS Press has established several strategic co-publishing initiatives. Notable acquisitions included Delft University Press in 2005 and Millpress Science Publishers in 2008.