FINGERS Brain Health Institute
ADDI and FBHI are continuing to work together on a project involving WW-FINGERS, a global network of dementia-prevention trials. As part of this ongoing effort, ADDI and FBHI are implementing the AD Workbench, which will support data sharing among WW-FINGERS investigators and provides permissioned access to a global community of researchers. This is an exciting step forward for AD and related dementia research because these data are from diverse patient populations worldwide – thus, helping data demographics align with global demographics. Also, ADDI is working with FBHI to support the WW-FINGERS Scientific Helpdesk at FBHI, and harmonization efforts in the clinical trials within the WW-FINGERS network, which are key to expanding the data’s usability among researchers.
FINGERS Brain Health Institute (FBHI) is a nonprofit research foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. FBHI is dedicated to promoting healthy brain aging and preventing cognitive impairment and dementia through innovative multidomain clinical research and rapid translation of results into personalized interventions and clinical practice. The research activities are based on Professor Miia Kivipelto´s groundbreaking scientific results from the clinical FINGER-study.
The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) is lifestyle-based and multi-dimensional. This study seeks to address the ability of nutrition, physical exercise, cognitive training, social activities and vascular/metabolic risk management to delay the onset of age-related cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias. It has shown significant benefits in at-risk older adults in a large-scale, long-term randomized control trial. World-Wide FINGERS (WW-FINGERS) aims to adopt and expand the FINGER Study model to a rapidly increasing number of countries around the world, including low- and middle-income countries. This creates the first global network of multimodal dementia-prevention trials.
Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) is a US-based medical research organization that is dedicated to advancing scientific breakthroughs in the treatment of AD and related dementias. Through its AD Workbench, ADDI offers researchers access to a large and ever-growing number of important dementia-related datasets from across the globe. It also provides researchers with tools and other resources to assist in combining and analyzing data.
ADDI’s data sharing partnership with FBHI and WW-FINGERS is an encouraging step forward in discovering new treatments and cures for AD and related dementias. This is especially the case given that the WW-FINGERS network now includes studies from more than 40 nations – including a broad range of countries in East and South Asia, the Americas, and Europe. AD and related dementias research must include data from diverse populations and sharing data from these studies helps us better inform our global understanding of these diseases.
Cognitive diseases such as AD and related dementias involve numerous factors that are often measured subjectively. These can differ across populations, countries, and regions depending upon, for example, language, culture, health care access, and economic development. To fully comprehend the impact of lifestyle-based interventions, researchers across the WW-FINGERS network and permissioned users will be well positioned to utilize not only these unique data, but also biomarkers through the planned WW-FINGERS biorepository.
Ideally, for researchers to use these unique data, they should be aligned and harmonized across individual studies. Through the new two-year grant to FBHI, ADDI is delighted to support WW-FINGER’s efforts on this front. The work will include developing a set of common data elements, synchronizing outcomes across studies, and building an infrastructure that supports network-wide data sharing. Collectively, this helps make the robust and diverse data collected by the WW-FINGERS network of studies easily usable and moves the research community closer to discovering novel AD and related dementia prevention strategies.