Good problems to have? Policy and societal implications of a disease-modifying therapy for presymptomatic late-onset Alzheimer's disease.
In the United States alone, the prevalence of AD is expected to more than double from six million people in 2019 to nearly 14 million people in 2050. Meanwhile, the track record for developing treatments for AD has been marked by decades of failure. But recent progress in genetics, neuroscience and gene editing suggest that effective treatments could be on the horizon. The arrival of such treatments would have profound implications for the way we diagnose, triage, study, and allocate resources to Alzheimer's patients. Because the disease is not rare and because it strikes late in life, the development of therapies that are expensive and efficacious but less than cures, will pose particular challenges to healthcare infrastructure. We have a window of time during which we can begin to anticipate just, equitable and salutary ways to accommodate a disease-modifying therapy Alzheimer's disease. Here we consider the implications for caregivers, clinicians, researchers, and the US healthcare system of the availability of an expensive, presymptomatic treatment for a common late-onset neurodegenerative disease for which diagnosis can be difficult.
Angrist, M; Yang, A; Kantor, B; Chiba-Falek, O
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