Alzheimer’s Disease: Utilization of Novel Diagnostic Tools and a Better Understanding of Emerging Pharmacotherapies

Perspective on Alzheimer's: Current and Emerging Diagnostics and Therapies
0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)
Launch Date:
September 17, 2013
Expiration Date:
The accreditation for this activity has expired.

Primary Audience:

Neurologists and other healthcare professionals interested in the diagnosis and management of patients who may progress to have Alzheimer’s disease

Relevant Terms:

Alzheimer's Disease

James B. Brewer, MD, PhD

James B. Brewer, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Departments of Radiology and Neurosciences
Director, Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study Imaging Core 
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, California

Dr. Brewer received his graduate and medical training at Stanford University and his neurology residency training at Johns Hopkins University. He joined the Department of Neurosciences in 2004 in a joint recruitment of the Departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, where he is a leading investigator at the interdisciplinary Multimodal Imaging Laboratory and directs the Imaging Cores of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study.
Dr. Brewer's primary research interest is human memory. He uses functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study memory processes in volunteers with healthy memory and in patients with memory impairment, such as cases caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD).
This research focuses on the medial temporal lobe (MTL) of the brain, which shows selective damage early in the course of AD. The overarching aim of the work is to better understand the memory function of distinct MTL substructures and the nature of the interaction between those substructures and other brain regions.
Dr. Brewer was one of the first researchers to show that functional MRI (fMRI) can identify distinct activations within the MTL. He and colleagues were the first to use the technique of event-related fMRI to identify brain activity that is directly related to the process of forming memories.
In addition, Dr. Brewer teaches neurosciences and neurology to graduate students, medical students, and residents. He participates as a lecturer in courses on fMRI and memory, assists in neuroanatomy instruction for medical students, and is an active participant in the Neurosciences Graduate Program. He is Co-Director of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Neurology Residents' Clinic at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, where he advises and mentors neurology residents in clinical neurology.
He is an attending physician at the UCSD and VA Medical Centers. In addition to his university service, Dr. Brewer is an ad hoc reviewer for several journals including Neurology, NeuroImage, and American Journal of Neuroradiology.
1. Diagnose Alzheimer's disease progression appropriately using currently available diagnostic tools
2. Discuss the safety, efficacy, and clinical trial data regarding current and emerging pharmacotherapies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Estimated time to complete the program: 0.5 hour

Alzheimer's Disease: Utilization of Novel Diagnostic Tools and a Better Understanding of Emerging Pharmacotherapies


In the US, 5.4 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). Roughly 96% of these people are 65 or older, and the prevalence of AD in this group is expected to increase 30% by 2025. AD was responsible for 82,435 deaths in 2008 and is currently considered the 6th leading cause of death in the US. Though much research has been done to better understand the pathophysiology process of AD and to develop effective, targeted treatments for this disease, there are currently no treatment options available to halt or reverse the progression of AD. Diagnostic tools have been and are being developed in order to detect AD progression at an earlier stage, but there is a clear underutilization of these novel diagnostic tools and technologies. There is some evidence to indicate that earlier treatment with currently available therapies may delay the progression of AD, although no significant reduction in long-term risk has been observed. Nevertheless, the observed delay in progression highlights the potential impact of effective early diagnosis and management of AD on the quality of life of patients. Thus, there is a clear need to educate clinicians on when to use these novel diagnostic methods and who the appropriate patients may be so that AD can be diagnosed at an early stage. This case-based activity is designed to educate neurologists and will focus on a patient with mild cognitive impairment and the most effective diagnostic methods for early determination of progression of AD. Furthermore, safety, efficacy, and clinical trial data regarding the current and emerging pharmacotherapies for the treatment of AD will be discussed.

This activity is designed for neurologists and other healthcare professionals who may be interested in the diagnosis and management of patients who may progress to have Alzheimer's disease.

Physician Continuing Medical Education
Accreditation Statement 
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the Elsevier Office of Continuing Medical Education and ACCELMED. The Elsevier Office of Continuing Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  

Credit Designation Statement
The Elsevier Office of Continuing Medical Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
It is the policy of the Elsevier Office of Continuing Medical Education (EOCME) that all faculty, instructors, and planners disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity. 

The faculty reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity:

James B. Brewer, MD, PhD

Consultant/Advisor: CorTechs Labs, Inc.; Lilly USA, LLC
Grant/Research Support: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Speakers' Bureau: Lilly USA, LLC
Stock Ownership: CorTechs Labs, Inc.

Planners, Managers, Reviewers
Sandy Breslow, Jill McNair, Karen Overstreet, EdD, RPh, FACEHP, CCMEP, Jason LeDune, MS, Cara Bilinsky, Ashley Amerson, and Jennifer Hughes hereby state that they or their spouse/life partners do not have any financial relationships to products or devices with any commercials interest related to the content of this activity of any amount during the past 12 months.

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use
This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. Elsevier Office of Continuing Medical Education, ACCELMED, and Lilly USA, LLC do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.
Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient's conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer's product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.
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Method of participation
In order to claim credit, participants must complete the following:
  1. Read the learning objectives, accreditation information and disclosures at the beginning of this activity.
  2. Complete the pre-test.
  3. Read the content.
  4. Complete the post-test with at least a 70% score and evaluation at the end of the enduring activity. Your certificate will be automatically sent to the email address you provided for log-in.

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