Multimodal strategies to promote a healthy brain in aging: Innovative evidence-based tools
MULTI-MODE aims to develop and commercialise two evidence-based tools for dementia: a smartphone app to measure the risk that the condition will set in during the next 20 years and another tool to help prevent dementia. The project also engages in knowledge dissemination, producing educational tools for healthy brain ageing and dementia prevention.
Prof. Miia Kivipelto and colleagues developed a tool to predict the risk of dementia within the next 20 years based on midlife risk profiles (CAIDE Dementia Risk Score). Subsequently, she oversaw trials of a multidomain lifestyle intervention, Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment & Disability (FINGER), which significantly improved cognitive performance in a population at risk for dementia and is now adapted in 15+ countries.
Nordic Brain Network is a multidisciplinary research team, with about 50 members in Finland and Sweden, established by Prof. Kivipelto. The team focuses on clinical and translational research in prevention and treatment of cognitive impairment, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They have identified several modifiable/treatable dementia risk factors, including gene-environment interactions.
The goal of MULTI-MODE is to develop and commercialise two innovative evidence-based eHealth tools for dementia prediction and prevention:
- Dementia risk prediction in various at-risk populations, such as middle-aged and older adults with specific profiles, or memory clinic patients. This work will build on the original CAIDE Dementia Risk Score (developed by Prof. Kivipelto and colleagues).
- Multidomain lifestyle intervention targeting modifiable risk factors (vascular, metabolic, and psychological) to prevent cognitive decline and postpone dementia onset (based on the FINGER trial).
Key outputs include mobile apps for tailored dementia risk prediction and validated risk scores in various populations. With their expertise and experience, the current academic-industrial partnership can develop state-of-the art eHealth tools and guarantee rapid time-to-market.
Products will be promoted and implemented in diverse settings, for use by citizens and health professionals. The subsequent MUTLI-MODE dissemination and educational initiatives, including a massive open online course, aim to empower citizens and reduce health costs and societal burden.
Dementia has reached near epidemic proportions. Tools to predict and prevent the problem will have a potentially huge impact on middle-aged and older adults who are at risk of dementia, as well as their families. The potential cost savings for payers, and the benefits of preventing loss of productivity due to dementia, will also provide big benefits for society.
Why this is an EIT Health project
The goals of MULTI-MODE are in keeping with EIT-Health goals to promote healthy living and active ageing through lifestyle interventions, and to encourage self-management of health. The project aligns with the EIT Health Focus Area of “Fostering Healthy Lives by Introducing Behavioural Change” because it offers people a reason to address potential dementia and a means to do so.