Pasqual Maragall Foundation to launch study into early detection of dementia
Some 400 people between 60 and 80 will take part in program to prevent the disease five years before it develops
Former Barcelona mayor and Catalan president Pasqual Maragall gave up politics in 2007 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Less than a year later, the Pasqual Maragall Foundation was set up to research neurodegenerative diseases. An example of the organization’s efforts came on Wednesday, when the foundation announced a pioneering project to detect the risk of a patient suffering from dementia five years before it develops.
The foundation’s Clinical Research Unit for the Prevention of Dementia will carry out the project with 400 people aged between 60 and 80 suffering from subjective memory loss. The scientific director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, Dr José Luis Molinuevo, said that the aim is “to scientifically study and research the knowledge needed to be able to transfer it in a personalized way to the population.” The project will last for three years.
Under the auspices of the foundation’s research facility, the Barcelonabeta Brain Research Center, the unit will evaluate the participants through online surveys. At the same time, those taking part in the program will be subject to cognitive, neuroimaging and genetic tests to evaluate their likelihood of developing the disease. The program will then offer them a personalized action plan to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Over the three years the project is to last, new people complaining of subjective memory loss will be incorporated. The collated results showing the estimated risk of developing the disease will be made available to the health authorities to help in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases. The launch of the program coincides with the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.