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Before it is too late: professional responsibilities in late-onset Alzheimer's research and pre-symptomatic prediction

Schicktanz, Silke, Schweda, Mark, Ballenger, Jesse F., Fox, Patrick J., Halpern, Jodi, Kramer, Joel H., Micco, Guy, Post, Stephen G., Thompson, Charis, Knight, Robert T. and Jagust, William J. (2014) Before it is too late: professional responsibilities in late-onset Alzheimer's research and pre-symptomatic prediction. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8. ISSN 1662-5161

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Identification Number: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00921


The development of a wide array of molecular and neuroscientific biomarkers can provide the possibility to visualize the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at early stages. Many of these biomarkers are aimed at detecting not only a preclinical, but also a pre-symptomatic state. They are supposed to facilitate clinical trials aiming at treatments that attack the disease at its earliest stage or even prevent it. The increasing number of such biomarkers currently tested and now partly proposed for clinical implementation calls for critical reflection on their aims, social benefits, and risks. This position paper summarizes major challenges and responsibilities. Its focus is on the ethical and social problems involved in the organization and application of dementia research, as well as in healthcare provision from a cross-national point of view. The paper is based on a discussion of leading dementia experts from neuroscience, neurology, social sciences, and bioethics in the United States and Europe. It thus reflects a notable consensus across various disciplines and national backgrounds. We intend to initiate a debate on the need for actions within the researchers’ national and international communities.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors © CC BY 2.0
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2014 13:04
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 23:11
Projects: 01GP1004A
Funders: International Office, University of Göttingen, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society, UCB, Centeron Aging, UCB, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, UCB, German Federal Ministryfor Education and Research, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Research Foundation, Open Access Publication Funds of the Göttingen University

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