Fogarty and the National Institute on Aging have funded a grant to Boston University Medical Campus to support a groundbreaking pilot study on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and mild cognitive impairment in China. The funds are being awarded under Fogarty’s Brain Disorders in the Developing World program, which is designed to build long-term capacity in research concerning nervous system functions and impairment in low-and middle-income countries.
Alzheimer’s disease currently afflicts about 18 million people worldwide, according to WHO, with the figure expected to double by 2025. China has a rapidly growing elderly population and an increase in dementia cases.
To address this, Boston University scientists and their Chinese colleagues will establish new methods of measuring risk factors linked to both mild cognitive disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.
By establishing surveillance techniques for identifying dementia and tracking incident cases longitudinally, the new study will gain insight into patterns of dementia in China and the complex interactions between genes and environment that underlie Alzheimer’s disease. The findings may stimulate further research by Chinese institutions and influence public policies regarding the disease.