About FINGERS Brain Health Institute
FINGERS Brain Health Institute is an independent international research Institute for brain health, established in Stockholm, Sweden in February 2019. The Institute´s mission is to promote healthy brain aging and prevent cognitive impairment and dementia by bridging the gap between innovative multimodal clinical research and rapid translation of results into personalized interventions and clinical practice.
Every three seconds someone globally gets dementia. Around 50 million people currently suffer from some form of dementia, where Alzheimer´s disease constitutes 60-70 per cent of all cases. In Sweden about 160 000 suffer from dementia and at least as many have precursor forms of the disease. This constitutes more than three per cent of Sweden´s population.
Alzheimer´s disease is the only incurable disease on the global top 10 list of causes of death and is the biggest killer in the UK. More than 200 failed clinical pharmacological trials give little hope for finding an efficient drug near term. The annual cost for treatment and care of patients with dementia in Sweden is 63 billion SEK, more than the cost for the entire Swedish military defense organization. The society´s cost for dementia also surpasses the total cost for treatment of all cancer-, cardiovascular- and stroke patients in Sweden. However, dementia research currently gets less than 10 per cent of the funds currently devoted to the cancer area.
We believe a completely novel and holistic way is needed to find ways to maintain good brain health and defeat dementia, which globally is seen as the 21st century´s biggest health challenge. The WHO, World Health Organization, has called dementia a “global priority for health”. Prevention of dementia has become a large and highly prioritized societal and political challenge. The area´s limited resources are mirrored globally and the dementia epidemic is also being discussed as a societal priority at other high levels, such as the G8 summits and within OECD.
One of the initiators of the FINGERS Brain Health Institute, Professor Miia Kivipelto, is the first researcher to show, through a randomized clinical study involving 1260 participants, that cognitive impairment can be prevented.
The research activities at FINGERS Brain Health Institute are based on Professor Miia Kivipelto groundbreaking results from the clinical FINGER-study (Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability). It has shown that modifications of several lifestyle factors can prevent development of dementia in different risk groups. This is the first scientific indication that there is light at the end of the tunnel regarding the possibilities to prevent or delay dementia.
Currently it can take 15-17 years or even longer to translate new clinical research results into broad patient value within the healthcare systems. One of the Institute´s objectives is therefore to enable a faster translational implementation of clinically validated results to prevent various forms of dementia. The activities at the Institute build upon a combination of the internationally recognized FINGER-study, solid research and clinical competences, experience within the area of brain health and a knowledge of how to rapidly translate clinical results into personalized clinical practice.
The activities at FINGERS Brain Health Institute will be focused on three main areas. When enough financing is secured, these areas will be established as three research centers within the Institute: The Clinical Trial Center, the Center for Imaging and Diagnostics and the Center for Translational Dementia Research.
Clinical Trial Center
At this center we plan to establish a web-based brain health research platform for recruitment of volunteers for upcoming clinical trials at the Institute. Using internet, individuals will be able to indicate their interest to have their brain health assessed and thereafter, depending on the outcome, become possible candidates for inclusion in one of the future clinical trials. After initial assessment, the individuals can be subjected to a test battery involving deep pheno- and genotyping, blood sampling, etc. to facilitate a thorough risk assessment and risk profiling prior to the participation in a clinical trial. The overall objective is to generate new research results for development of preventive methods to retain adequate brain health. Over time this may facilitate new forms of early, personalized clinical treatments of people with an increased risk of dementia.
Center for Imaging and Diagnostics
The activities within this center are aimed at developing efficient and rapid methods and tools for early detection of cognitive impairment and different forms of dementia. Early detection is crucial, as Alzheimer´s disease most likely develops during a period of 15-20 years prior to the manifestation of symptoms and possible diagnosis. Provided that enough funds can be secured through donations, the Institute will establish an important infrastructure enabling scanning of subjects using magnetic resonance imaging, MRI.
Through collaborative efforts we will develop and apply novel technologies and tools within areas like artificial intelligence (AI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), “Big Data”, bioinformatics, biomarkers, clinical decision support, etc. and pursue local and international research projects with other foundations, academy and corporations.
Center for Translational Dementia Research
Here the activities are aimed at facilitating rapid translation of clinical research results within brain health into personalized interventions and clinical practice. It typically takes 15-17 years or even longer before clinical trial results can be converted into broad patient value. We will focus on the utilization of research results from both internal studies and global collaborative multidomain lifestyle- and pharmacological interventions from ongoing and future FINGER-studies.
The objective is to replace the current fragmented healthcare efforts with multimodal personalized preventive measures to improve brain health.
Fingers Brain Health Institute
c/o Stockholms Sjukhem
102 26 Stockholm