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Identification and Interventions for Dementia in Elderly Africans study begins work with Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative

Tanzania research team adds tablets and smartphones to speed and expand the collection of data

Being part of the DAC international network of research will help accelerate the expansion of research not just within Tanzania, but potentially to other Sub-Saharan countries.”
— Dr. Declare Mushi, Principal Investigator of IDEA
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, December 5, 2022 / -- Today the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC) announces the Identification and Interventions for Dementia in Elderly Africans (IDEA) Study, based at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Kilimanjaro Tanzania, is working with the DAC Global Cohort Development program, a groundbreaking data platform to accelerate the discovery, assessment, and delivery of precision interventions for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

The DAC Global Cohort Development (GCD) platform is driving scientific discovery by providing researchers access to an extensive, truly international platform populated with brain related health data from broad and diverse populations. It will support AI and machine learning with organized and aggregated data collected from digital devices through research labs, hospitals, and even people’s own smartphones. This data resource will help determine the causes, predispositions, and habits of people who develop Alzheimer’s Disease. It may also inform drug discovery and clinical care at a more rapid pace.

IDEA, established in 2014, is a community–based, longitudinal research study with over 450 participants. The research team has been assessing participants 65 years and older through biennial examinations for dementia-related risk factors including Sociodemographic, cognitive tests, medical history, blood pressure, and grip strength.

In collaboration with the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative Global Cohort Development program, they will add the collection of AD-related digital phenotypes using a tablet in the clinic and through smartphone applications that can be self-administered on a more frequent basis from the person’s place of residence.

“We believe digital assessments offer a feasible and cost-effective method for expanding dementia research in lower-income regions who are facing near-term realities of an aging population but need to quickly ramp up research efforts to inform healthcare preparedness,” said Dr. Declare Mushi, Principal Investigator of IDEA based at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College. “Being part of the DAC international network of research will help accelerate the expansion of research not just within Tanzania, but potentially to other Sub-Saharan countries.”

“Collaboration and inclusion are essential elements for defeating Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Dr. Rhoda Au, Director of the Global Cohort Development at DAC. “Working in silos with limited representation of participants from across the world is not producing results, either comprehensively enough or fast enough. Past studies have skewed results because of the exclusion of low- and middle-income resourced areas and/or countries. We believe the important work and scientific data from the IDEA study will further advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The Global Cohort Development combines the best of science – collaboration, creative thinking, and discovery. Other interested researchers with cohorts that share these objectives are encouraged to apply. Because of the synergistic nature of this work, cohorts with limited resources are put on similar footing with the large research organizations. Supporters are finding this program a cost-effective way to influence the big, new ideas necessary to stem the tide of AD.

About the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative
Initiated in Davos, Switzerland, during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2020, The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative is a public-private partnership committed to aligning stakeholders with a new vision for our collective global response against the challenges Alzheimer’s presents to patients, caregivers, and healthcare infrastructures. Led by The World Economic Forum (WEF) and The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) and fueled by a mission of service to the 150 million families and half a billion people inevitably impacted by this disease by 2050, DAC is a collaborative for the benefit of all people, in all places.

Pat Arcand
Davos Alzheimers Collaborative Global Cohort Development
+1 617-251-7778
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