Focus on Toward Precision Medicine in Neurological Diseases
Toward precision medicine in Alzheimer’s disease
In Western societies, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death. In recent years, the concept of precision medicine, an approach for disease prevention and treatment that is personalized to an individual’s specific pattern of genetic variability, environment and lifestyle factors, has emerged. While for some diseases, in particular select cancers and a few monogenetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, significant advances in precision medicine have been made over the past years, for most other diseases precision medicine is only in its beginning. To advance the application of precision medicine to a wider spectrum of disorders, governments around the world are starting to launch Precision Medicine Initiatives, major efforts to generate the extensive scientific knowledge needed to integrate the model of precision medicine into every day clinical practice. In this article we summarize the state of precision medicine in AD, review major obstacles in its development, and discuss its benefits in this highly prevalent, clinically and pathologically complex disease.