Norway, the EU, and many other countries/regions are rapidly transforming into aging societies. Aging is the largest risk factor for many chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There are 46.8 million elderly worldwide affected with AD, with 10.5 million in the EU alone, and this has brought formidable socioeconomic and healthcare challenges to their countries. Over the last 15 years, there were 244 drug candidates for AD tested in clinical trials, most of which targeted tau or Aβ. However, only one, an agent that mitigates symptoms rather than disease progression, received approval from the US FDA and European Medicines Agency. Thus investigating other molecular mechanisms in the etiology and progression of AD is of categorical importance (Fig. 1).
With basic researchers on AD, AD clinicians, national AD networks, drug development companies, local healthcare givers, and municipal institutions, we aim to establish the Norwegian Alzheimer’s disease network (NO-AD). The aim of this network is to establish synergies among the five major disciplines of AD, including ‘AD mechanisms’, ‘Novel approaches’, ‘AD translational’, ‘AD clinical’, and ‘Society’, with a final aim to dramatically reduce AD incidence, and to maintain healthy brain ageing in the elderly. Through this NO-AD network, we are very focused to target on three challenges: Challenge 1: To discover patient-oriented new mechanisms (the dominant 99% sporadic AD); Challenge 2: To identify novel AD drug targets; and Challenge 3: To initiate early diagnosis through novel early biomarkers and early treatment.