Why a clinical trial is as good as its outcome measure: A framework for the selection and use of cognitive outcome measures for clinical trials of Alzheimer's disease

Roos J. Jutten, Kathryn V. Papp, Suzanne Hendrix, Noel Ellison, Jessica B. Langbaum, Michael C. Donohue, Jason Hassenstab, Paul Maruff, Dorene M. Rentz, John Harrison, Jeffrey Cummings, Philip Scheltens, Sietske A.M. Sikkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A crucial aspect of any clinical trial is using the right outcome measure to assess treatment efficacy. Compared to the rapidly evolved understanding and measurement of pathophysiology in preclinical and early symptomatic stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), relatively less progress has been made in the evolution of clinical outcome assessments (COAs) for those stages. The current paper aims to provide a benchmark for the design and evaluation of COAs for use in early AD trials. We discuss lessons learned on capturing cognitive changes in predementia stages of AD, including challenges when validating novel COAs for those early stages and necessary evidence for their implementation in clinical trials. Moving forward, we propose a multi-step framework to advance the use of more effective COAs to assess clinically meaningful changes in early AD, which will hopefully contribute to the much-needed consensus around more appropriate outcome measures to assess clinical efficacy of putative treatments. Highlights: We discuss lessons learned on capturing cognitive changes in predementia stages of AD. We propose a framework for the design and evaluation of performance based cognitive tests for use in early AD trials. We provide recommendations to facilitate the implementation of more effective cognitive outcome measures in AD trials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • clinical outcome assessments
  • clinical trial
  • cognition
  • preclinical
  • prodromal

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