Quantifying dementia prevention potential in the FINGER randomized controlled trial using the LIBRA prevention index.

Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association. 2021;17(7):1205-1212

Plain language summary

Lifestyle interventions are being increasingly recognised to delay or prevent the onset of dementia. Scientific research targeting one lifestyle factor has continually failed to show any benefits and therefore interventions targeting several lifestyle factors, before disease onset may be more beneficial. The Lifestyle for BRAin Health (LIBRA) score is a tool which assesses peoples risk of dementia based on several lifestyle factors and this trial used this tool to determine the dementia risk of individuals who entered The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER). This study was the first randomised control trial showing benefits to cognition following multi-domain lifestyle interventions. The results showed that higher LIBRA score at the start of the trial was associated with poorer brain function over time and that the multi-domain lifestyle intervention was effective at decreasing LIBRA score, regardless of the risk at the start of the trial. It was concluded that LIBRA may be a useful tool to determine risk of dementia and that the FINGER intervention was of benefit to individuals regardless of their risk of dementia.


INTRODUCTION Individuals in early dementia prevention trials may differ in how much they benefit from interventions depending on their initial risk level. Additionally, modifiable dementia risk scores might be used as surrogate/intermediate outcomes. METHODS In the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER), we investigated in post hoc analyses (N = 1207) whether the cognitive benefits of the 2-year multi-domain lifestyle intervention differed by baseline dementia risk measured with the "LIfestyle for BRAin Health" (LIBRA) score. We also investigated intervention effects on change in LIBRA score over time. RESULTS Overall, higher baseline LIBRA was related to less cognitive improvement over time. This association did not differ between the intervention and control groups. The intervention was effective in decreasing LIBRA scores over time, regardless of baseline demographics or cognition. DISCUSSION The cognitive benefit of the FINGER intervention was similar across individuals with different LIBRA scores at baseline. Furthermore, LIBRA may be useful as a surrogate/intermediate endpoint and surveillance tool to monitor intervention success during trial execution.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Neurological ; Immune and inflammation
Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Dementia
Environmental Inputs : Diet ; Nutrients ; Physical exercise
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition ; Exercise and movement
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable

Methodological quality

Jadad score : Not applicable
Allocation concealment : Not applicable