Evidence-based dementia prevention and healthy brain aging using an effective, holistic, and global approach

The work at FINGERS Brain Health Institute (FBHI) is based on Professor Miia Kivipelto´s ground-breaking scientific results from FINGER (Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability). We build upon this pioneering research to further our efforts with dementia prevention and healthy brain aging. 

The FINGER study is the first published clinical trial showing that modifications of several lifestyle factors can slow cognitive decline. To further this research, Professor Miia Kivipelto launched, and currently leads, World-Wide FINGERS: the largest global network of clinical trials for dementia prevention.

Our approach

An effective and holistic approach

Our work takes a broad, multifaceted approach to dementia prevention and healthy brain aging. By combining multiple domains our intervention studies target dementia and cognitive decline in a holistic way. Evidence from our clinical research informs real-world programs which utilize these results. Due to FBHI’s work on both original research and translation of results, we are able to transition scientific findings to real-world benefits for society in a rapid and efficient manner.

A global vision towards personalized healthcare

We work globally to create culturally tailored interventions and tools allowing for personalized healthcare. As dementia has been declared a global public health priority by the World Health Organization (WHO), we focus on conducting research and finding solutions which are effective across countries, particularly in low- and middle-income, where there is a large burden of dementia. Professor Miia Kivipelto and her team have worked closely with the WHO on a number of initiatives, including the Neurology and COVID-19 Initiative.

A rigorous scientific approach

In everything we do, we follow the strictest scientific, medical, and ethical standards. Our work builds upon a solid foundation of rigorous scientific research. Under the leadership of Professor Miia Kivipelto and guided by her well-established contributions to the field of dementia prevention, her team of experienced professionals strive to deliver the highest quality of research. To ensure this high standard, we intend to publish our results from clinical research and other activities.

Our areas of focus

Clinical research

Conducting original research using FINGER-inspired multidomain designs, working to investigate the effects of lifestyle and drug interventions on cognitive decline and dementia.

Technologies for research

Integrating technologies in our research to promote global collaboration by facilitating the sharing of data through technological solutions, such as federated databases.

WW-FINGERS Global Scientific Coordinating Center

Advancing the collaboration, harmonization, and optimization of clinical trials for risk reduction and dementia prevention in over 40 countries, via the Scientific Helpdesk.

Rapid research implementation

Undertaking implementation projects across multiple countries, based on the FINGER multidomain model, to inform and support healthy brain aging in a practical and personalized manner.

Our projects

Technologies for research

Global interoperable data architecture

In a project funded by National Philanthropic Trust/Alzheimer´s Disease Data Initiative in the US, supported by a coalition of funders including Gates Ventures, we work on technological solutions that facilitate data harmonization, sharing of data, and joint analyses, encouraging collaborations between researchers and research institutes globally.

Clinical research

MET-FINGER-APOE: An innovative clinical trial

FBHI is the Swedish sponsor of the MET-FINGER-APOE study. This is the first randomized clinical trial within the field to combine lifestyle interventions with a drug (metformin) financed by the Alzheimer´s Drug Discovery Foundation and Part the Cloud Gates Partnership Grant Program. The trial is anticipated to start in late 2021 and will involve a total of 600 subjects in the UK, Finland and Sweden.

WW-FINGERS Global Scientific Coordinating Center

Network scientific coordination, harmonization, and optimization

FBHI has established a WW-FINGERS Global Scientific Coordinating Center to support World-Wide FINGERS, a network of clinical trials for dementia prevention comprising over 40 countries.  The Scientific Coordinating Center is run by Professor Miia Kivipelto with the aid of scientists, researchers, and clinicians in her team, to drive forward the main scope, methodological strategy, and scientific activities of the network.

Rapid research implementation

SOMPO´s Smile Program for Brain & Physical Health

FBHI, together with Sompo Holdings in Japan, in collaboration with The National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan, has developed a dementia prevention program called SOMPO Smile Program for Brain & Physical Health, with the objective to reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia by improving the lifestyle of older people in Japan.

Selected research publications

The people behind FBHI have produced important scientific findings and publications, which form the basis for our Institute and our way forward. Here we have selected a number of key publications which were instrumental in guiding our approach.

Ngandu et al., 2014. Recruitment and Baseline Characteristics of Participants in the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER)—A Randomized Controlled Lifestyle Trial.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Ngandu et al., 2015. A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trial.

The Lancet
doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60461-5

Solomon et al., 2018. Effect of the Apolipoprotein E Genotype on Cognitive Change During a Multidomain Lifestyle Intervention: A Subgroup Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Neurology
doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.4365

Lehtisalo et al., 2018. Dietary changes and cognition over 2 years within a multidomain intervention trial—The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER).

Alzheimer’s & Dementia
doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.10.001

Kivipelto et al., 2019. World-Wide FINGERS Network: A global approach to risk reduction and prevention of dementia.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia
doi: 10.1002/alz.12123

Rosenburg et al., 2020. Alzheimer’s Disease, and Dementia: From FINGER to World-Wide FINGERS.

The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease
doi: 10.14283/jpad.2019.41

In the pipeline

We have a number of innovative projects that are not yet funded or lack collaborators or partners for execution. With your support we can develop these further:

Modifiable risk factors for frontotemporal dementia

We aim to initiate a research project focused on the identification of modifiable risk and protective factors associated with frontotemporal dementia. Specifically, those related to the onset and progression of cognitive and behavioral signs and symptoms.

Innovative e-Health tool for dementia prevention

One of our goals is to develop an innovative e-Health tool, or app, to prevent cognitive decline in aging while improving cognitive performance, using evidence from the multidomain FINGER model.

Stress-elicited “burnout” in young adults

We endeavor to begin a research project on young adults who have experienced stress-elicited cognitive dysfunction or ‘burnout’. We plan to combine MRI and PET-scans, alongside blood, CSF samples, and neuropsychological tests to establish a baseline for longitudinal studies.

Interested in collaborating or funding these efforts?

Learn how you can support our work

We are a Swedish non-profit foundation that is dependent on external donations and grants. There are several ways you can support the work of the FINGERS Brain Health Institute as an individual, foundation, corporation, or other organization.