Dr. Mercè Boada, co-founder and medical director of Fundació ACE, participated last Tuesday, September 29, in the first Alzheimer's Biomarkers conference. The online event, organized by Roche and targeted to neurologists, analysts and other health professionals involved in Alzheimer's disease, aimed to update and share different advances in the care of this pathology.
Dr. Boada's presentation was based on the patient journey of a patient with dementia and the importance of primary-specialized care interaction in early diagnosis. "We must get families to understand that making an early diagnosis is a great opportunity to plan future strategies for the patient and for themselves."
According to the experience at Fundació ACE, the diagnostic focus is still in the late clinical stages of Alzheimer's or dementias, so patients have difficulty accessing available treatments and limits their participation in clinical studies and trials.
In relation to this, Dr. Boada points out that “we must lose the concept that Alzheimer's is an aging situation. It is a pathology that occurs at 60, 65, 70 years of age and this population is not elderly, it is a group that deserves to have the possibility of planning their life and future”.
According to Dr. Mercè Boada, it is essential to detect the obstacles that exist in the public health system that cause a delay in diagnosis, as well as to inform, educate and motivate primary care professionals about the importance of diagnosis in preclinical phases.
Fundació ACE has a close and direct relationship with 319 primary care centers and 1,403 doctors in Barcelona city and province. That is why 88% of the first visits made at Fundació ACE are referred by Primary Care Teams and CatSalut.
Regarding the importance of biomarkers, Dr. Boada points out that they are significant in terms of diagnosis, prognosis, decision-making, research, clinical trials and crucial in the future to correctly prescribe new treatments.
According to the medical director of Fundació ACE, in order to optimize the knowledge they provide, it is crucial that teams build and share data, create biobanks, and consolidate knowledge based on sharing and creating synergies between institutions.
Fundació ACE has one of the largest gene banks in the world in the field of dementias, with more than 20,000 stored samples that have made it possible to identify 40 genetic risk factors linked to Alzheimer's and study the molecular mechanisms of the APOE gene, the main risk factor genetic for Alzheimer's disease.
You can see the presentation by Dr. Mercè Boada in the following video: