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25 Feb | 2022

The pioneering project of the Clinical Research Unit in Dementia Prevention is coming to an end

More than 300 participants have been part of the project of the Clinical Research Unit in Dementia Prevention which, for three years, has been carried out by the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC). The aim of the study was to investigate whether there is a biological basis associated with the calculated risk algorithm and to provide participants with a personalized action plan to try to reduce this risk. The project has also studied the possible emotional impact of individually revealing this percentage of risk of developing dementia 5 years ahead.

Participants, people between the ages of 60 and 80 who experienced a subjective impairment of memory or other cognitive abilities, but without a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other dementias, were visited by a neurologist who collected their clinical history and did cognitive and neuroimaging tests. Based on this information, an algorithm has been applied to calculate the estimated percentage of risk of developing dementia over the next 5 years. Pre-selection of potential participants was done through a registration website that contained algorithms to determine which people were, a priori, candidates to participate. Following this first selection, candidates were contacted by telephone to thoroughly evaluate their eligibility and schedule a baseline study visit.

The final analysis of the study data is expected by the end of the year, but the intermediate analysis conducted during the year 2021 with approximately half of the participants, has shown that the web registration system is efficient for the recruitment of people with subjective memory complaints. On the other hand, the data also suggest that revealing the percentage of risk of developing dementia does not have an emotional impact by measuring levels of depression or anxiety. Finally, the results put on the table that personalized clinical structures, such as this Research Unit, are of great value as more than half of the participants could be offered other clinical studies to benefit from depending on their specific risk profile.