Virtual clinical trial based on computer was used by researchers to predict Alzheimer patient’s evolution


Scientists studying the Alzheimer’s disease used a virtual clinical trial based on computer and real, de-identified patient data to simulate health outcomes. The researchers built a computational causal model to run virtual trials on the FDA-approved treatment aducanumab, as well as another promising therapy under evaluation, donanemab. More exactly, they set the trial timeframe for both medium-term (78 weeks) and long-term (10 years) periods with low-dose (6 mg/kg) and high-dose (10 mg/kg) regimens for aducanumab, and a single-dose regimen (1400 mg) for donanemab. „Our study showed that the effect of these two anti-amyloid drugs on slowing cognitive decline is actually quite modest—and if given late in life, barely detectable,” they concluded.


The researchers also used their model to develop personalized treatment plans for individual virtual patients, taking into account the potential side effects of anti-amyloid therapy such as brain swelling and bleeding, headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion and vision problems. “We’ve shown that this type of model can work. I envision it being used as a precision tool to enhance actual clinical trials, optimizing dosages and combinations of drugs for individual patients,” Dr. Jeffrey Petrella, Professor of Radiology and Director of the Alzheimer Imaging Research Laboratory at Duke University explained.