Overtreating Alzheimer’s Disease

M. Canevelli, N. Vanacore, A. Blasimme, G. Bruno, Matteo Cesari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The management of frailty in older persons is not easy, implying interventions beyond the simple prescription of medications. Biological complexity, multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and social issues often hamper the possibility to directly translate the evidence coming from research into clinical practice. Frailty indeed represents the most relevant cause of the “evidence-based medicine issue” influencing clinical decisions in geriatric care. Today, patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are much older and frailer than some decades ago. They also tend to have more drugs prescribed. In parallel, research on AD has evolved over the years, hypothesizing that anticipating the interventions to the earliest stages of the disease may provide beneficial effects (to date, still lacking). In this article, we argue that, by focusing exclusively on “the disease” and pushing to anticipate its detection (sometimes even before the appareance of its clinical manifestations) may overshadow the person’s values and priorities. Research should be developed for better integrating the concept of aging and frailty in the design of clinical trials in order to provide results that can be implemented in real life. On the other hand, clinicians should be less prone to the easy (but unsupported by evidence) pharmacological prescription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-236
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • cognition
  • dementia
  • geriatrics
  • Overtreatment
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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