Modeling test and treatment strategies for presymptomatic Alzheimer disease

OBJECTIVES: In this study, we developed a model of presymptomatic treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) after a screening diagnostic evaluation and explored the circumstances required for an AD prevention treatment to produce aggregate net population benefit. METHODS: Monte Carlo simulation methods were used to estimate outcomes in a simulated population derived from data on AD incidence and mortality. A wide variety of treatment parameters were explored. Net population benefit was estimated in aggregated QALYs. Sensitivity analyses were performed by individually varying the primary parameters. FINDINGS: In the base-case scenario, treatment effects were uniformly positive, and net benefits increased with increasing age at screening. A highly efficacious treatment (i.e. relative risk 0.6) modeled in the base-case is estimated to save 20 QALYs per 1000 patients screened and 221 QALYs per 1000 patients treated. CONCLUSIONS: Highly efficacious presymptomatic screen and treat strategies for AD are likely to produce substantial aggregate population benefits that are likely greater than the benefits of aspirin in primary prevention of moderate risk cardiovascular disease (28 QALYS per 1000 patients treated), even in the context of an imperfect treatment delivery environment.