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AAN 2021 Study Preview: Effective Tau Therapies

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A talk with Dr. Irene Litvan about AAN abstract C86 - ATYPICAL PARKINSONISMS

Why should attendees be listening to your presentation?

They should listen because progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD) are front runners in the search for effective tau therapies to slow disease progression. Both are primary tauopathies, which means that tau is the only aggregated protein affecting neurons and glia, which differentiates them from secondary tauopathies such as Alzheimer disease, that includes tau and amyloid. Moreover, there are multiple possible strategies that could be considered to target the mechanisms involved in tau aggregation and spread that could be tackled with novel experimental therapeutics, several of which are currently in trials. Findings from this research could also lead to beneficial therapies for Alzheimer.

What should attendees be listening for in your presentation?

They will learn about the features and diagnostic criteria for the multiple phenotypes in both, PSP and CBD including current diagnostic challenges and possible ways to improve them.

What do you hope attendees come away with from your presentation?

I hope attendees will become more aware of how to diagnose these disorders. This will allow to diagnose patients accurately and earlier which will allow to treat and improve patients’ quality of life, learn about their disease and prognosis, avoid possible complications, search for multiple second opinions, as well as allow them to participate in research. All relevant aspects that not only improve patients and families’ quality of life but also decrease health-care cost and advance research.

Dr. Litvan's research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, Michael J Fox Foundation, Parkinson Foundation, Lewy Body Association, Roche, Abbvie, Biogen, Centogene. EIP-Pharma, and Biohaven Pharmaceuticals. She was member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Lundbeck and is a Scientific advisor for Amydis. She receives her salary from the University of California San Diego and as Chief Editor of Frontiers.

Illustration by April Brust

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