BOSTON — The metronomic rate of failure in Alzheimer’s disease can be crushing to scientists and bankrupting to industry. But when success is in such short supply, every little light through the cracks gets put through a kaleidoscope and parsed for signs of hope.

Such was the case at this year’s Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease conference, where an onslaught of negative studies got autopsied for lessons that might inform future trials — and signals that once-failed drugs may yet thrive.

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