Roche launches onset Alzheimer's website

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By Lauren Folino

To commemorate World Alzheimer's Day, Roche has launched the first available website dedicated to early-stage (prodromal) Alzheimer's disease, at EarlySymptomsAlzehimers.com.

The site, which caters to healthcare providers, patients and caregivers, was developed to draw attention to the latest progress in exploring the value of earlier diagnosis and treatment for Alzheimer's disease, according to Roche. Research has found that initial Alzheimer's symptoms can occur up to 12 years before diagnosis, which makes crucial the opportunity to recognize early-stage symptoms of the disease — such as significant memory loss and poor judgment and decision-making — so that therapeutic treatment may be administered before irreparable damage occurs.

While Roche has not yet brought to market any Alzheimer's treatments in the United States, the pharmaceutical manufacturer currently has a portfolio of four products in development for treating the disease. One treatment is in phase I and three are in phase II of clinical trials.

“In recent years, our understanding of the very early phases of Alzheimer's disease has improved significantly and more advanced diagnostic tools have become available to researchers in this field,” said Roche's global head of the neuroscience discovery and translational area, Luca Santarelli, M.D. “For this reason, we started clinical
trials that are looking at diagnosis and treatment of this disease much earlier, before significant damage to the brain has occurred.”

The website, which offers visitors a bevy of early Alzheimer's-related information, in addition to social tools such as videos and a blog, also provides patients with a downloadable “Tracker Diary” meant to act as a checklist that patients can fill out in order to recognize symptoms of the disease.

“We funded the EarlySymptomsAlzheimers site to help patients and medical professionals better understand this
new approach,” Dr. Santarelli added. “We hope that this will positively impact the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease in the future.”
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