The studies are the first developed through the 2012 NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit, according to an NIH announcement.

“We know that Alzheimer’s-related brain changes take place years, even decades, before symptoms appear,” NIH Director Richard Hodes, MD, said in the announcement. “That really may be the optimal window for drugs that delay progression or prevent the disease altogether. The clinical trials getting under way with these funds will test treatments in symptom-free volunteers at risk for the disease, or those in the very earliest stages — where we hope we can make the biggest difference.”