State of play of research into dementias
A conference organised by the Lancet was dedicated to examining recent progress in dementia research. Entitled ‘ The Challenge of the Dementias ’ [ Edinburgh, Scotland; April 1996 ], the conference brought together experts in epidemiology, genetics, neuroimaging and drug treatment, to discuss today’s issues. Their conclusions indicate that the greatest progress of recent years has been in the genetic field, with the discovery of the apolipoprotein E type 4 allele (APOE-ε4) and its link to an increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. A number of epidemiological findings have also been made, and diagnostic methods have benefited from several advances. However, apart from the development of tacrine and second-generation cholinesterase inhibitors, such as galantamine, there has been little progress in the drug treatment of this condition.