On 17 October, two researchers from the LETHE project presented on their work at the Alzheimer Europe Conference in Helsinki, Finland during a session dedicated to brain health and prevention.
Jeroen Bruinsma presented his recent qualitative work on lifestyle behavior change for dementia risk reduction. His study reveals that dementia risk often seems abstract, as people believe dementia occurs decades into the future. While many have positive attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle, they struggle to initiate change. This seems particularly evident for those who perceive limited control over their behavior. Sharing these insights with the Alzheimer research community is vital because this highlights the need for research on effective behavior change methods that support individuals with reducing dementia risk. Read more about the research here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37718799/
Dr Anna Rosenberg from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare presented the study design of the LETHE pilot RCT and updates on study progress. The 2-year LETHE trial tests the feasibility of a digitally supported lifestyle program to promote brain health and reduce dementia risk among older adults. Participant recruitment started in September 2022 and was successfully completed in Spring 2023, with 156 individuals randomized to the study. Recruitment is balanced across the four sites: Medical University of Vienna (Austria), Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland), Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and University of Perugia (Italy). So far, participant experiences are very positive and engagement in the intervention is active.
Presenting the LETHE trial at the conference was a great opportunity to showcase this work to not only the research community, but also members of the public who are affected by dementia. It was delightful to see that brain health and prevention was the focus of several sessions, and many innovative projects in this area are ongoing across Europe.
More information about LETHE’s work and the start of the dementia risk-reduction study can be found in the recently launched Dementia in Europe Magazine: https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/resources/publications/dementia-europe-magazine-issue-43
The LETHE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 101017405.
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