In the framework of the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of its creation, the Pasqual Maragall Foundation takes a revolutionary step in the fight against Alzheimer's with the presentation of a pioneering project focused on the prevention of dementia. "Changing the history of this disease is possible and today we are closer to make it a reality," said its director, Dr. Jordi Camí.
This is the Barcelonaβeta Dementia Prevention Research Clinic, promoted by the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), the research center of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation. This research clinic, unique in the world, will study the risk of developing 5-year dementia in people with subjective memory complaints and the biological basis of that risk. Likewise, it will analyze if revealing this information generates an emotional impact on the participants and a personalized action plan will be offered that allows them to reduce their risk. This plan will have primary prevention advice to reduce the modifiable risk factors of the disease, and with the possibility of participating in specific studies for the detection and prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
The study, which lasts 3 years, needs to incorporate 400 volunteers between 60 and 80 years old, who are experiencing a decrease in memory or other cognitive abilities, but who have not been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and are not participating in another investigation study. "Participation in this study is an invaluable contribution to progress in the scientific discovery of effective ways to prevent or delay dementia" says Dr. José Luis Molinuevo, scientific director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Program promoted by the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.
Participants must meet the following inclusion criteria:
The selected volunteers will be visited by a neurologist at the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center, in Barcelona, where they will also undergo cognitive, neuroimaging and genetic tests. Based on the information gathered in these tests, a risk algorithm will be applied that will indicate the estimated risk percentage of suffering dementia in the next 5 years, and participants will be offered a personalized action plan with strategies to improve their brain health and to reduce the risk of suffering from dementia. Participants will also have the possibility of participating in specific studies and clinical trials for the prevention of the disease.
In addition to investigate if there is a biological basis associated with the calculated risk algorithm, the project will also study the effect that the fact of individually revealing this risk percentage and its possible emotional impact may have, as well as the benefits that may be derived from the inclusion and participation in the study.
It is important to emphasize that the term risk implies a probability, not a certainty. In the same way that no one is exempt from the possibility of suffering from dementia, neither can 100% be guaranteed that someone will suffer from it. There are many variables that come into play and there is not enough knowledge about all of them. The knowledge generated by this new project will contribute to the modulation and improvement of the estimation of this risk.