Why do some people get Parkinson’s while others get Alzheimer’s? What is really happening in the brains of people diagnosed with a neurodegenerative diseases? Do our clinical labels for these diseases make sense or do they represent a spectrum of different conditions that we have mistakenly lumped together? And why, after decades of research and billions of dollars spent, do we not have even a single drug that can slow any of them?
These are just some of the questions that the CCBP is designed to answer. It was created with the idea in mind that we need to get rid of the old labels doctors have been using to diagnose these diseases so we can more accurately describe what is going wrong in each individual. We will use a variety of tools and techniques that will allow biology to tell us what we should be targeting and how we can properly treat each individual living with one of these conditions.
The purpose of CCBP is to separate neurodegenerative diseases into their proper biological subtypes and then match each one to therapies that will be able to alter disease progression.
In the first 5-year phase the program will recruit 5000 people (4000 patients and 1000 healthy controls) into one study. Each person will come in once annually to undergo a variety of examinations and have samples collected. We will then analyze the data collected and let the biology tell us how to group people together, as well as which markers we might be able target. Once we have these subtype specific markers of disease, we can then start to match them to existing therapies.
One Disease vs. Many
The underlying belief driving the effort of the CCBP is that there are no distinct biological signals separating what we call Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or other degenerative brain disorder. CCBP aims at replacing the current clinical boundaries with future biological boundaries, which are better targets for therapies.