“China-FINGER” Project: MIND-CHINA

In the past 2-3 decades, China has seen a steady increase in the age-specific prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, along with rapid health transition characterized by the rise of non-communicable chronic diseases driven primarily by urbanization, socioeconomic development, and population aging.

Thus, dementia has become a growing public health concern in China. There is currently no disease-modifying therapy available for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, evidence has shown that a considerable proportion (~30%) of dementia cases can be preventable by interventions targeting multiple major modifiable risk factors such as early-life low educational attainment, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, midlife hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and depression. The Finnish FINGER study has demonstrated for the first time in a randomized controlled trial that an intensive multidomain lifestyle intervention may help preserve cognitive function in at-risk older adults.

Inspired by the FINGER study, we plan to initiate the “China-FINGER” project, a randomized controlled Multimodal INtervention to delay Dementia and disability in rural China (MIND-CHINA). In brief, the project aims to test whether a multimodal intervention program sensitive to Chinese lifestyle and sociocultural factors will help maintain cognitive and physical functioning among community-dwelling elderly people in rural areas. The intervention will target individuals who are aged 65 years or older and living in the rural communities of Yanlou Town, Yanggu County, western Shandong province. The package of multimodal intervention program consists of different components, in which the Chinese tradition and sociocultural factors will be carefully incorporated, e.g., (1) lifestyle and nutritional guidelines; (2) physical exercise; (3) social and intellectual activities; and (4) regular monitoring and management of major cardiometabolic risk factors.

The MIND-CHINA project will be organized by a multidisciplinary research team from Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University led by Prof Yifeng Du (PI) and coordinated by Dr Yongxiang Wang, in collaboration with senior researchers from Karolinska Institutet (Dr Chengxuan Qiu and Prof Miia Kivipelto). The project is partly supported by the China’s National Key R&D Program of Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China.

Contact persons:
Yifeng Du (Shandong Provincial Hospital): duyifeng2013@163.com
Yongxiang Wang (Shandong Provincial Hospital): wang-yongxiang@hotmail.com
Chengxuan Qiu (Karolinska Institutet): chengxuan.qiu@ki.se