The Silent Epidemic of Alzheimer’s Disease: Can Precision Medicine Provide Effective Drug Therapies?
Alzheimer’s disease is a complex, multi-faceted condition. Our understanding of the causal onset, diagnosis, progression, and treatment of the disease is limited and beset with confusion. It is
estimated that ~35 million adults worldwide are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, representing less than 1% of the global adult population. However, a significant and poorly understood “risk factor” for Alzheimer’s disease is aging, and >95% of patients are 65 years of age or older. This rapidly growing segment of the global population is more prone to onset of Alzheimer’s, and represents a significant but “silent” epidemic threatening to overwhelm the world. In this work we discuss the current limitations of our understanding of causal onset, diagnosis and progression of the disease, and the paucity of effective therapeutic treatments.We consider the potential of systems biology and Precision Medicine to unravel and provide insight into the complex causal pathway and network biology of the disease, as well as facilitate safe and effective therapeutic drug treatments.