Large European Initiative Tackles Dementia Prevention

Released: 10/5/2012 1:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Alzheimer Research Forum Foundation
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Newswise — Worldwide, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease will hit 115 million by 2050, according to the World Health Organization. Scientists, health officials, policymakers, and the public are asking if anything can slow down the disease. Several U.S. trials will soon test whether specific drugs can prevent Alzheimer's, but what about lifestyle changes, such as eating better and exercising more? As reported on the Alzheimer Research Forum, key researchers from three large trials have come together under the European Dementia Prevention Initiative (EDPI), to collaborate, share data, and even design future studies.

Among these three ongoing trials are the PreDIVA (Prevention of Dementia by Intensive Vascular Care) and FINGER (Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability) trials. Both of these studies aim to find out if intense treatment of cardiovascular risk factors, along with better exercise and healthy lifestyle changes, will lower the risk of dementia. A third trial, the Multi-Domain Alzheimer's Prevention Trial (MAPT) asks whether omega-3 fatty acids plus lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, and cognitive activities help stave off mental decline.

As these trials progress, EDPI scientists hope to combine data where possible, expand the number of study participants, and determine how best to design future such trials. EDPI will soon receive a grant to design and carry out another five-year prevention study that involves counseling through the internet.

Read more about EDPI and its various studies in Alzforum's coverage .

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