Authors: Sharon Salt, Editor
Giovanni Frisoni is a physician and clinical neurologist who is also extremely involved in research. He has been consulting patients for the last 27 years and has been working at the National Center for Alzheimer’s Disease (Brescia, Italy) – the first center entirely devoted to Alzheimer’s research in Italy – for 22 years. Giovanni has been directing the Memory Clinic of the University Hospital of Geneva (Switzerland) for the last 5 years, where he is also a Professor of Clinical Neuroscience.
In this interview, Giovanni speaks to us about his talk on gut microbiome alterations in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and what impact this research could have for patients in the future. He also provides his opinion on where the field could be in 5–10 years’ time and what his anticipations are.
What is your current research focus and what inspired you to work in this area?
What inspired me is the positive thrust that I have been experiencing throughout the last 25 years. There is a positive dynamic within the AD research field. If you look back at where we started in 1984, when the first clinical criteria for AD was developed, we barely knew what it was. Most experts believed that it was a rare disease of young people.
If you look at where we are at now, after the first neuropsychological assessments for cognitive phenotyping; the development of biomarkers for differential diagnosis and early diagnosis; and the development of a drug with the ability to clear the brain from the toxic substances that we know are causing the disease; the amount of progress that has been done is enormous. This is what motivates me.
In my current research, I have two major areas of interest. The first is my traditional area in imaging biomarkers for differential diagnosis and early diagnosis, which is where a large part of the field is working on because it has a clinical impact.