On November 20th, Haza Newman, CEO of Geras Solutions, hosted the Healthy ageing and brain health in the digital era event at Norrsken Foundation in Stockholm. The Tuesday evening saw many experts from the dementia research field, awareness field and investors from within the m-health industry share their insights and several exciting opportunities in this digital era.

Among the speakers, there were Prof Miia Kivipelto (Professor of Geriatrics, Karolinska Institute), Prof Gustaf Bucht (Professor Emeritus of Geriatric Medicine, Umeå), Ahsan Amjad (Entrepreneur and Investor in Health Care), Dr Karin Lind-Mörnesten, CEO at SCI, Gunnar Tolf (Head of Incubation and Commercialisation, Data-Driven Businesses at Tieto), Björn Arvidsson (Head of Policy and Communications at Roche), Ludvig Mörnesten (Deputy Managing Director at SCI) and Roelof Pieters (CEO and Founder at creative.ai).

World Wide FINGERS network

Of particular interest was Prof Miia Kivipelto’s fascinating overview of the World Wide FINGERS (WW-FINGERS) network — an interdisciplinary network to share experiences, harmonise data, and plan joint international initiatives for the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia. The FINGER trial is the first randomized controlled trial showing that it is possible to prevent cognitive decline using a multi-domain lifestyle intervention among older at-risk individuals. The results highlighted the value of addressing multiple dementia risk factors as a strategy to protect brain health, and promote overall health and functioning.

The FINGER trial comes in a timely manner, as, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International’s World Alzheimer Report 2018, only 4 effective drugs have so far been approved to treat some of the symptoms of dementia. Since then, clinical trials have had a 99.6% failure rate. While it might still take some time before we eventually discover the cure for dementia, lifestyle adjustments have been proven to be important, and the timing of the right medication for individuals will be critical to ensure tailor-made treatments for the growing number of people with a dementia diagnosis.