Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been recognised as one of the biggest health and societal challenges of our times. The number of people directly affected by the disease will continue to rise and put the sustainability of healthcare services to the test.
We now better understand that some modifiable risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, smoking, increase the risk to develop the disease in the future. Research also shows that the natural history of AD begins several years before the onset of clinical symptoms. In clinical practice, the diagnosis of AD is still occurring late in the disease process.
Objective: earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease
It is in this context that MOPEAD – Models Of Patient Engagement for Alzheimer’s Disease – was convened. This 33-month IMI/EFPIA-funded project started in October 2016 with the aim to identify hidden cases of AD and introduce a paradigm shift that will close the gap between late-stage diagnosis to early-stage diagnosis of AD.
MOPEAD will test four models of patient engagement that can support the early identification of mild AD dementia and early AD patients: ‘Open House’ setting (skill tests), on-line Citizen Science (participation of the general public) and two clinical settings (involving diabetologists and General Practitioners). The tests will be performed in five regional project sites (Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands). The outcomes of these patient engagement models tested will then be compared and contrasted to identify ways to improve early detection and diagnosis of AD. The findings will help create models of patient access to be established and used in the broader AD community.
On the look for new insights on therapeutic interventions
The goal of MOPEAD is also to help raise awareness about AD versus normal ageing, mild cognitive impairment and the benefits of early diagnosis towards the general population and health practitioners. Awareness about the risk factors associated to AD will empower people to take action on a healthy lifestyle and to seek information in a timely manner.
Interventions that can help identify hidden cases of AD through patient engagement will hopefully provide new insights for therapeutic interventions in clearly identified populations. Ultimately, MOPEAD should lead to a faster recruitment of patients into clinical trials.
MOPEAD is the first IMI/EFPIA project focussing on patients in AD. There are strong expectations that MOPEAD’s learnings will foster experience sharing and eventually encourage policy makers to endorse and promote the project’s recommendations.
MOPEAD is coordinated by Fundació ACE Institut Català de Neurociències Aplicades. The partners of the project are Eli Lilly and Company Ltd, AstraZeneca AB, ASDM Consulting, GMV Soluciones Globales Internet S.A.U., Karolinska Institutet, KITE Innovation (Europe) Ltd, University Hospital of Cologne, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Fundacio Hospital Universitari Vall D’Hebron—Institut de Recerca, Stichting VUmc, Alzheimer Europe, Spomincica—Alzheimer Slovenia and the European Institute of Women’s Health.