Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative Announces Partnership to Identify People at Risk for Dementia in Rural Latin America

The Project with South Colombian University, Cooperative University of Columbia, Neiva Campus and Viewmind Will Scale Early Detection Initiatives

This collaboration will accelerate our understanding of dementia in this remote underserved population and will help bring treatments to individuals in a culturally and regionally sensitive manner.”— Vaibhav Narayan, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative Executive Vice PresidentGENEVA, SWITZERLAND, October 31, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC), the organization leading an unprecedented response to Alzheimer’s disease, today announced a partnership with the Universidad Surcolombiana , Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, and ViewMind Inc, precision cognitive assessment company based on ocular digital phenotyping, to study individuals at risk for dementia in rural settings. The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative will expand studies with the University of South Colombia cohort examining regional risk factors to scale early detection initiatives and improve early interventions for Alzheimer’s disease.

The partnership will explore local attitudes towards dementia, evaluate region specific risk factors, and utilize digital technology for early detection of dementia in a rural, low education and resource cohort in the southern Colombian Amazon rainforest. Specifically, DAC will enable ethnographic profiling, saliva-based genetic testing, and deployment of additional high precision digital cognitive assessments suitable for local administration.

“This comprehensive study of dementia within the southern Colombian Amazon rainforest will focus specifically on a rural community characterized by low education levels and limited resources. This cohort, primarily engaged in agricultural work, faces prolonged exposure to a range of toxins, including pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Additionally, the community’s historical exposure to the Colombian armed conflict adds another layer of complexity. Through this collaboration, the team will explore local attitudes towards dementia, evaluate region-specific risk factors, and employ digital technology for the early detection of this condition,” says Dr. Jasmin Bonilla Santos, the principal investigator at Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia.

The longitudinal cohort comprises 3,000 individuals over the age of 60, with an average of 1.5 years of education.

Participants are receiving a full neuropsychological test battery, neurological consensus diagnosis, and a ViewMind Atlas assessment, which is a high precision cognitive assessment battery that is easy to administer and more likely to work across cultures, languages nd education levels. Results are tracked across time. Through digital technology, high-risk individuals will be able to be identified early in the process, when preventive strategies and interventions are statistically more effective.

“This collaboration will accelerate our understanding of dementia in this remote underserved population and will help bring pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments to individuals in a culturally and regionally sensitive manner,” says Vaibhav Narayan, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative Executive Vice President and Head of Strategy and Innovation. “This program is important for the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative as it brings in the voice of populations that have largely been absent in dementia clinical research and progresses our efforts towards reducing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease for all.”

The partnership will adapt educational and intervention programs with regional and cultural fit. Using scalable low-cost digital solutions renders dementia risk assessments more accessible in traditionally underrepresented populations and allows for comparison across regions.

Data from this collaboration will be made available via the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) platform, which supports global research initiatives and interventions against AD by providing controlled access to the broader research community via the study’s principal investigators.

This collaboration further expands DAC’s efforts in Latin America and will allow for rich, cross-cohort collaborations, allowing a cooperative generation of globally validated yet regionally optimized solutions to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

About the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative 
Launched at the World Economic Forum’s 2021 meeting on The Davos Agenda, The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative is a multi-stakeholder 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. Convened by The World Economic Forum and The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) and fueled by a mission of service to the estimated 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. 

About Universidad Surcolombiana
The University leads the comprehensive, human, and critical education of professionals and researchers, drawing upon disciplinary, professional, interdisciplinary, and multicultural knowledge through transformative academic processes. Likewise, it is committed to the sustainable development of the Surcolombian region. For other hand, one of the objectives of the Dneuropsy group and their Neurocognition and Psychophysiology laboratory at the Universidad Surcolombiana under the leadership of Dr. Alfredis González H, who also serves as the clinical coordinator of the master’s program in Neuropsychology, is to contribute to the identification of preclinical markers for Alzheimer’s-type dementia, enabling early diagnosis of the disease.

About Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia
The university is committed to providing access to higher education for individuals from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, promoting equity and inclusion. It fosters applied research and the generation of relevant knowledge to address local and national issues and challenges. The university actively engages in social outreach and community extension projects, working collaboratively with communities and organizations to generate a positive impact in its surroundings. These characteristics underscore the mission of the Cooperative University of Colombia to provide quality education, shaping professionals committed to sustainable development and the well-being of society. The above is reflected in the research activities of the research group “PSICOSABERES” under the direction of Dr. Jasmin Bonilla Santos, on the campus located in the city of Neiva.

About ViewMind
ViewMind’s is a leading provider of digital health products that perform a precision cognitive assessment. ViewMind supports healthcare providers to deliver precision patient care and pharmaceutical companies to validate new therapeutics more efficiently, and to objectively measure a patient’s cognitive response. ViewMind’s product, ViewMind Atlas, is based on ocular digital phenotyping technology and measures the health of 16 cognitive domains and 19 brain related brain regions with unprecedented precision. The results closely correlate with biomarker, neuroimaging, and EEG tests. The technology is the result of 20 years of fundamental research, is non-invasive, easy to use and aims to work across cultures, languages and education.

Susan Oliver
Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative
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