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2010 Grants - Kivipelto
Effect of Preventive Interventions on Biomarkers for Cognitive Decline
Miia Kivipelto, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Kuopio
2010 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
One of the major barriers to progress in developing treatments for cognitive decline and dementia is that there are no simple tests—such as blood tests or imaging tests—that can reliably measure the progression of neurodegenerative disease or the effectiveness of treatment. The identification of such a biomarker would greatly improve diagnosis of cognitive decline, and help researchers in their attempts to identify and test treatments.
Miia Kivipelto, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are studying a number of potential biomarkers for their ability to accurately reflect cognitive decline in a large group of older individuals at risk for cognitive decline and dementia. Their study is part of a larger clinical trial, known as the FINGER Trial, which is studying the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach to preventing cognitive decline. Persons at risk of cognitive decline and dementia receive multidisciplinary treatment that includes nutrition, physical activity, cognitive and social activity, and treatment of risk factors (such as high blood pressure and diabetes). Dr. Kivipelto and colleagues will monitor a variety of potential biomarkers, including biochemical markers of inflammation or oxidation, hormones controlling blood sugars and fats, as well as brain imaging. These results will be compared to the rate and degree of cognitive decline in the same individuals. The researchers will also measure quality of life and level of physical ability. This study may identify simple biomarkers that can be used in subsequent research to monitor the effectiveness of treatments designed to reduce cognitive decline, and may eventually be useful for regular monitoring of cognitively impaired patients in medical clinics.