Featured Online Resource: iFBAD

July 14, 2009

Today’s featured resource is the Internet-based Forecasting of the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease (iFBAD) website developed by Ron Brookmeyer, PhD, Elizabeth Colantuoni, PhD, and colleagues in the Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Yesterday we told you about DementiaGuide, an online tool your patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and their caregivers can use to create a customizable symptom profile they can use to track symptom changes over time.

Today’s featured resource is the Internet-based Forecasting of the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease (iFBAD) website developed by Ron Brookmeyer, PhD, Elizabeth Colantuoni, PhD, and colleagues in the Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The iFBAD website describes the application as “an internet-based system to forecast (F) the burden (B) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to evaluate the potential impact of interventions that delay AD onset and progression” (thus, the iFBAD acronym). The system produces projections of AD prevalence, incidence, DALYS and cost.

To paraphrase the description provided at the website (and as explained by Dr. Colantuoni, who presented this information yesterday at ICAD as poster #P2-066 “Web-based Application to Estimate and Project the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease and Evaluate the Impact of Potential Interventions”), the iFBAD is based

on a “multi-stage probabilistic model for the incidence and progression of Alzheimer's disease.” According to the model, healthy individuals may transition to either mild or moderate and late stage Alzheimer’s disease (referred to by the model as stage 1 and stage 2 disease, respectively). A person’s annual probability of AD onset varies by age, gender, and calendar year. A person’s annual probability of moving from stage 1 disease to stage 2 disease may vary by calendar year. The annual probability of onset of AD and the annual transition rate to stage 2 disease depend on calendar year to “allow for the introduction of interventions that delay disease onset or progression.” The website (and Dr. Colantuoni) do a better job of explaining this, along with the way in which probability of mortality is factored in and how the model generates age-, gender- and stage-specific prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease. Click here to read more about how iFBAD works.