Published: 15-02-2024 16:14 | Updated: 19-02-2024 08:04

KI in international collaboration to prevent Alzheimer's disease

Amyloid plaques in the brain in Alzheimer's disease
Amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease. Illustration: Getty Images.

Karolinska Institutet is one of 24 partners in AD-RIDDLE, a collaborative project that aims to increase healthcare providers' ability to diagnose, prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease. The project, supported by, among others, the EU's Innovative Health Initiative (IHI), started in January 2024 and will run for five years.

Today, around seven million people have Alzheimer's disease in Europe. The number is expected to double by 2050. In other words, there is an urgent need for effective and large-scale solutions to prevent, diagnose and treat dementia and achieve long-term health economic benefits.

AD-RIDDLE is a new international multidisciplinary initiative involving universities, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies, regulators and patient support associations.

The parties will develop a digital platform that supports healthcare professionals, patients and the general public in detection, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

The goal of AD-RIDDLE is new advances in precision medicine and personalized treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive diseases. The project will run for five years.

Digital support for early detection

The modular digital platform will, among other things, include screening tools to detect risks and enable diagnosis at an early stage. These include, for example, digital cognitive tests and blood-based biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease.

The digital solution should be able to be used in different types of healthcare environments, such as memory clinics, primary care and the general public outside the healthcare system.

Miia Kivipelto. Photo: Bruno Ehrs.

"Research continues to show that multimodal lifestyle interventions have a clear effect, and we also see a promising development in disease-modifying drugs," says Miia Kivipelto, Professor, R&D Manager and Geriatrician at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, and Karolinska University Hospital. She continues:

"In this situation, there is real hope for patients and caregivers, and we have a good opportunity to make great progress. The cross-sectoral AD-RIDDLE initiative provides us with unique opportunities to move research and healthcare forward, bridge the gap between research and clinic, and make new discoveries."

Miia Kivipelto leads the entire AD-RIDDLE program in her role at Karolinska University Hospital, together with Niranjan Bose, Gates Ventures.

The AD-RIDDLE platform will be based on existing technology, biomarkers, tools, and lifestyle interventions, including Miia Kivipelto's FINGER research.

KI's expertise in preventive intervention

Karolinska Institutet contributes with expertise in modelling risk assessment and forecasting of the effects of preventive interventions as well as evaluation of health economic aspects of early detection and intervention of dementia.

Karolinska Institutet is represented in the project by Francesca Mangialasche, Associate Senior Lecturer  at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, and Linus Jönsson, Professor of Health Economics at the same department.  

The project has an initial budget of just over EUR 31 million, divided between the 24 partners, including Karolinska Institutet, Region Stockholm and the FINGERS Brain Health Institute (FBHI).

EU and multi-stakeholder support

AD-RIDDLE is supported by the Innovative Health Initiative Joint Undertaking (IHI JU), which is supported by the EU's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, and by COCIR, EFPIA, EuropaBio, MedTech Europe and Vaccines Europe, with the Davos Alzheimer's Collaborative, Combinostics OY., Cambridge Cognition Ltd., C2N Diagnostics LLC, and neotiv GmbH.