World Wide FINGERS

World Wide FINGERS is an interdisciplinary network to share experiences, harmonise data, and plan joint international initiatives for the prevention of cognitive impairment/dementia.

Main goals

Its main goal is to generate robust evidence to define effective preventive approaches for various at-risk groups and settings. World Wide FINGERS will facilitate synergistic use of data from several countries, creating a unique opportunity for rapid knowledge dissemination and implementation. World Wide FINGERS has been established by Professor Miia Kivipelto who is closely collaborating with various research groups worldwide.

Dementia has been declared a public health priority by the World Health Organization (WHO), which has also prioritized research into dementia prevention. Prevention is indeed pivotal in managing the dementia epidemic globally. Given the multifactorial etiology of dementia and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, multi-domain interventions targeting several risk factors are most likely to be effective.

Pioneering trials

Three European countries have completed pioneering multi-domain prevention trials (RCTs) in community-dwelling seniors: the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER); the French Multidomain Alzheimer Preventive Trial (MAPT); the Dutch Prevention of Dementia by Intensive Vascular Care (PreDIVA). The experiences and results from these studies allow the identification of key methodological issues underlying the successful delivery of cost-effective preventive interventions. Prevention of cognitive impairment requires integrated approaches targeting risk factors shared by chronic disorders common in older age, the definition of accessible and sustainable strategies for populations with different geographical, economic and cultural settings.

FINGER (also led by Professsor Kivipelto) is the first large, long-term RCT indicating that a multi-domain intervention with exercise, diet, cognitive and social stimulation and management of vascular/metabolic risk factors may benefit cognition in subjects at risk of dementia. FINGER represents a pragmatic model, currently tested in diverse (population-based) settings (Europe, Singapore, USA, Australia, China).