Neurology and Neuropsychology team specializes in the evaluation of biomarkers and the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.

World Alzheimer’s Day is this Saturday, September 21, the day on which it is necessary to highlight the importance of the development of the investigations that are being carried out to combat this disease, which does not yet have all the data on its causes.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that is the leading cause of dementia, between 50 and 70% of the world’s population. It is estimated that about 40 million people in the world affected by dementia are attributable to Alzheimer’s. In Spain, according to data from the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), there could be about 800,000 people with this pathology.


Age is the main risk factor for developing the disease, although it should not be forgotten that 10% of Alzheimer’s cases begin below 65 years. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease increases exponentially after 65 years. It affects 5 percent of the population over 60, 20 percent of those over 80 and 30 percent of those over 90.

The progressive aging of the population, and the increase in life expectancy means that there is an increasing proportion of people exposed to developing the disease. The number of people affected is expected to increase exponentially in the coming decades, even reaching more than 100 million by 2050.

Fotomontaje sobre el Alzheimer / Archivo


The General University Hospital of Catalonia has a team of Neurology and Neuropsychology specialized in the evaluation of biomarkers and early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Beyond the diagnostic evaluation, it offers therapeutic advice, advice to caregivers and follow-up of patients with cognitive impairment of neurodegenerative cause.

In addition, the Unit of Clinical Research (UDIC), led by Dr. Balaguer, has extensive experience in the inclusion and monitoring of patients with Alzheimer’s disease who wish to participate in clinical trials for the development of new treatments for the disease .


The team works to correct the associated symptoms and slow the course of the disease. In addition, some studies suggest “cure” the disease if the hypothesis proposed in the trial were positive: for example, if the amyloid hypothesis is correct, antiamyloid therapies would be “curative.”


Clinical trials at all stages of Alzheimer’s disease from initial to moderate and advanced, as well as trials on specific symptoms (hallucinations or delusions).

There are three types of trials currently active at the Hospital Universitari General de Catalunya

1- Neuromodulatory drugs.

These are trials that aim to improve the symptoms of memory loss. The hospital has conducted a Phase II Boehringer– Ingelheim trial (20 pts) and a Phase I Heptares trial (5 pts).

2- Anti-amyloid therapy.

They are inhibitors of amyloid formation called BACE that are administered orally.

2a- Phase III, one of Lilly (55 pts) and another of Eisai (30 pts).

2b-Anti-amyloid replacement therapy.


He has also participated in the development of the AMBAR clinical trial, carried out both at the Hospital Universitari General de Catalunya and the Fundació ACE.

This trial aims to reduce cerebral amyloid and improve cognitive performance, through plasmapheresis and plasma albumin exchange and / or immunoglobulins. The trial has shown positive results in patients with moderate-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

2c- Monoclonal antiamyloid antibodies that pursue the destruction of amyloid.

Administered intravenously as a Phase II (25 pts) and a Phase III of Eisai in activation; as well as 2 Phase III trials of Roche (30 pts in total).


The late diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is often due to the association with dementia, with the social stigma it carries. Today, it is known that Alzheimer’s is a continuous process, in which the alterations at the cerebral level begin in some cases even decades before the presentation of the first symptoms and where the dementia phase is only the end of this process.

It is necessary to raise awareness both in society and in the health sector that this reality would increase early diagnosis and could promote the implementation of prevention measures and the development of clinical studies and trials with the same objective.


Despite the growing knowledge of the natural history of Alzheimer’s disease and the advances in the early diagnosis of the disease, there has been little progress in the development of new treatments. Both current drugs and some medical nutrients, in the best case, do not achieve slight asymptomatic improvements in the evolution of malaria.


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