On March 11, the new EURO-FINGERS (EU-FINGERS) Consortium started with an online meeting*, where all consortium partners were able to actively participate from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Spain and the Netherlands. The consortium planned its forthcoming research activities within the landscape of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
EU-FINGERS is led and coordinated by Miia Kivipelto, Professor in Clinical Geriatrics at Karolinska Institutet, Center for Alzheimer Research, and Director for Research & Development of Theme Aging at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Focus of EU-FINGERS is risk reduction and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which is a global public health challenge.
EU-FINGERS builds on pioneering clinical trials for Alzheimer´s and dementia prevention led by Prof. Kivipelto, including the FINGER and the MIND-AD randomized clinical trials. The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER), showed that a multimodal lifestyle intervention consisting of nutritional guidance, exercise, cognitive training, and control of vascular risk factors benefitted cognition in seniors at increased risk of dementia. The FINGER model has been then tested for the first time in subjects with early-symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease (i.e., prodromal AD), in the European Multimodal Prevention Trial for Alzheimer´s Disease (MIND-AD), which was funded through the JPND.
EU-FINGERS will also develop an innovative trial model, combining multimodal lifestyle interventions with drugs that might halt AD. This includes a tool (EU-FINGERS online registry) to easily direct citizens/patients who are interested in research to the most suitable prevention trials. Furthermore, through their active engagement in EU-FINGERS, the consortium aims to empower subjects at risk (or early-stage) of Alzheimer´s dementia, by integrating their views and preferences in guidelines on how clinicians should disclose the at-risk status. The consortium will also identify strategies for shared decision-making, to improve patients and caregiver involvement in the diagnostic process and the choice of preventive strategies.
Results from EU-FINGERS are expected to benefit people at risk of Alzheimer dementia by creating knowledge on effective and sustainable prevention strategies, as well as a solid framework for Alzheimer´s disease prevention Europe.
The consortium is composed of eight partners. It will last 3 years, and it is funded with 1.8M euros under the JPND EU-Joint programme, the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases.
*Following national and international recommendations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the EU-FINGERS Consortium has shifted all their in-person meetings to virtual meetings (e-meetings) until further notice.