The Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC) is a research group that works to identify genetic variants associated with risk of Alzheimer’s disease . Fundació ACE is part of this international team, led by Dr. Gerard Schellenberg of the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (USA) . The ADGC is one of the four companies forming part of the International Genomics of Alzheimer ‘s Project (IGAP) .


Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the genetic material contained in the cells with the instructions on the form and function of living things . DNA is organized into chromosomes , which contain the genetic information of individuals and are inherited from parents to children .


An allele refers to the different forms of a gene with respect to the variation of the nucleotide sequence or DNA . The difference in the arrangement of the genetic material has specific effects on gene function.


Natural process that refers to the set of morphological and physiological changes that occur as a consequence of the action of time on life . Aging has a large variability between subjects due to many factors such as genetic , educational level , associated diseases , activity level , etc. . Well as psychological ability to adapt to changes with age.


Apolipoprotein E is a protein which synthesizes a gene on chromosome number 19 . Research has demonstrated that the ApoE 4 allele of this protein is associated with risk for Alzheimer’s disease.


Beta Amyloid protein

The brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease have an excess of beta-amyloid protein in the form of senile plaques. The accumulation of this protein in the brain is considered the main hypothesis of the origin of Alzheimer’s disease.

Behavioral disorder

Behavioral symptoms that hamper coexistence with other people in everyday life. Behavioral disorders are common in the development of cognitive and functional impairment in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.


The biobank is a resource of research centers that store samples of biological material under conditions of special security .Biobanks of DNA samples are very important for genetic studies of cellular processes related to diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.


The brain is the central organ of the nervous system of most living things. For humans, the brain consists of about 100,000 neural cells and placed in different structures that have evolved over thousands of years. Today there are several neuroimaging techniques that allow to observe in vivo to analyze the structural and functional changes.


Clinical Neuropsychology

It is an applied scientific discipline that studies the behavioral expression of brain dysfunction. Itsbased on neuroscience and psychology.


The neurology subgroup of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) is a research group working in the replication of studiesof genome-wide associations. The CHARGE consortium formally invited Fundació ACE to join the project neuroCHARGE, that works on phenotypes related to brain pathologies and has already isolated major genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease or cerebrovascular diseases. The CHARD is one of the four consortia forming part of the International Genomics of Alzheimer ‘s Project (IGAP).

Cognitive impairment

Performance of subject in a cognitive test subject that is lower than expected for their age and level of schooling. Cognitive test is methodologically measured using scales and cutoffs.


Day Centre

The day center is a social service that provides assistance to people with cognitive impairment or dementia in daytime . The interdisciplinary approach is able to meet the needs of the individual and their family in early and moderate stages of the disease.

Day hospital

The day hospital is a healthcare service that provides assistance for people in daytime , primarily under 65 years with cognitive impairment or dementia. The patient and his family benefit from a comprehensive therapeutic care. The interdisciplinary approach meets the needs of the individual and their family in the early and moderate stages of the disease.

Definite Alzheimer

The safe and definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can only be done by looking at the brain directly . Therefore, the diagnosis of Alzheimer safe can only postmortem , by autopsy . If this test shows the marks of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles it is an irrefutable proof of this type of dementia.


Dementia is a syndrome with various symptoms related to loss of cognitive functions such as memory or language . There are many types of dementia, but the most common is Alzheimer ‘s disease . There are other disorders that may be associated with dementia , such as depression and delusions or other behavioral disorders. This is the reason why sometimes the diagnosis is complicated.

Dementia with Lewy bodies

It has symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease, but with similarities to Parkinson’s disease , such as stiffness , tremors and slow down of the movements. A feature of this dementia diagnosis is that the patient also presents delusions and / or hallucinations very vivid and reasoned. This neurodegenerative disease is the second most common type of dementia in elderly patients and can sometimes manifest in conjunction with Alzheimer’s disease .


Determining a disease requires a diagnosis , which refers to a set of tests to identify clinical pathology . In the case of neurodegenerative diseases there are several tests which lead to the diagnosis of the different types of dementia . Early diagnosis facilitates early therapeutic intervention , allowing time for patients and family to make forecasts for the future, face a long and costly process of face to bring dignity and quality of life around the family.

Diagnostic unit

The diagnostic unit is a service for the diagnosis and monitoring of people with cognitive impairment and/or dementia. The diagnosis is obtained through an interdisciplinary process that includes five visits for comprehensive assessment and the design of a proposal of intervention that addresses the global needs of the person.


Episodic memory

It is the cognitive capacity to retrieve information about recent events or knowledge that has been recently acquired in the past.


Scientific discipline that studies the distribution , frequency and determinants of health and disease in human populations.


The European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium (EADC) is a network of European centers of excellence working in the field of Alzheimer’s. Fundació ACE is one of the fifty centers that are part of this consortium . It aims to develop new ways to prevent, delay and improve primary and secondary symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.


Frontotemporal dementia

It is a type of dementia that affects the areas behind your forehead (frontal lobe o the brain), which may extend into the temporal part . The first symptoms of frontotemporal dementia often affect behavior and executive functions . This syndrome is the second most common degenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s disease in young people and the third cause of dementia in people over 65 years.


Chemical that is used in the treatment of disease. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease , there are several drugs currently in clinical trials in its various developmental stages . The current drugs target is slow the progression of the disease.


Phenotype is the physical or functional expression in a given genome or genotype , which refers to the manifestation of the expression in the body of an individual of their genes.



DNA is a sequence that contains information relevant to the synthesis of a molecule with a cellular function, typically proteins. The genes are organized in chromosomes, within each cell , in a certain position. Heredity refers to the information transmitted to the offspring.


The genome is the genetic information characteristic of a species . Genome sequencing is very useful for identifying disease-related genes.


Genotype refers to the set of genetic material from a specific individual characteristic features of living beings in particular.


The Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer’s Disease (GERAD) is a research group that works to identify genetic variants associated with risk of Alzheimer’s disease . Fundació ACE is part of this international team, led by Dr. Julie Williams of Cardiff University (UK) . GERAD is one of the four companies forming part of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) .


The studies of genome-wide association (GWAS) is a research technique used to analyze the genetic material of many subjects and compare them . Fundació ACE uses this high-resolution genomic technology to analyze the association between genes and Alzheimer ‘s disease.



Integral PsychostimulationProgram (P.P.I.)

The Integral Psychostimulation Program (Programa de Psicoestimulación Integral, PPI)( Tárraga & Boada, 1991) is a program aimed at the person with cognitive impairment that includes the stimulation of basic cognitive functions , the practice of instrumental skills , the exercise of psychomotor skills and encourages basic activities of daily living . The aim is to relieve a person living with this disease, improving aspects of behavior and personality.


The International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) is an international project where several research centers from USA and Europe collaborate. The main goal of the IGAP project is to understand the role of heredity in the transmission of Alzheimer’s disease.


Memory Workshop

Memory stimulation workshops target people with memory loss. This therapeutic intervention aims to maintain as long as possible the functional autonomy in daily life of patients.



Current medicineuses technology whenever is possible to treat and prevent disease. Neurology, in particular, uses imaging techniques available in the study of diseases of the nervous system, including dementia. Using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can help a neurologist to properly diagnose a specific dementia. New imaging techniques such as PET-PIB  have been developed intended only for the investigation of dementia.

At present, major studies and clinical trials include associated studiesof neuroimaging that aim to determine the effect of the treatment on the patient status. The long-term clinical studies associated with neuroimaging allow not only following the evolution of the disease through changes in the human brain, but also associate these changes with the clinical progression. In the future, the use of neuroimaging in combination with other techniques, is expected to be a tool to predict the subsequent development of dementia.

Neuropsychological evaluation

Comprehensive review of the cognitive , behavioral and emotional functions that can be altered as a result of functional impairment and / or structural central nervous system.


Neurons are cells of the nervous system. Unlike other cells, the neuron has a cell body (soma) and an extension (axon) that receives and sends stimuli to other cells. This communication is called neural plasticity, a property that can be trained through cognitive stimulation.

Non-pharmacological treatment

Non-pharmacological treatments are therapeutic interventions that do not dispense drugs to stimulate the person with dementia at a cognitive level . This treatment does not replace drugs,in any case it is complementary. One of the paradigmatic examples of non-pharmacological treatment is the Integral Psychostimulation Program ( IPP).



The Observatory for Health, Autonomy, Competence and Human Rights (ObservatoriosobreSalud, Autonomía, Competencia y DerechosHumanos, OBSCAC) is an initiative of Fundació ACE, the General Judicial Council (Consejo General del Poder Judicial), the Spanish Society of Nephrology Private Foundation (Fundació Privada de la SEN), the Professional Medical Association (Col•legiOficial de Metges) of Barcelona and the CaixaCataluyna Social Work (l’Obra Social de CaixaCataluyna).The purpose is to create a descriptive of the quality on the process of incapacitation, focused on understanding the degree of satisfaction and the benefits obtained with the judgment.


Possible Alzheimer

A person with a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease refers to the existence of another condition , such as cerebral vascular disease or other chronic metabolic diseases earlier . These conditions can cause brain damage by themselves, but not the key symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease , which are in the foreground and they are evolutionary.

Probable Alzheimer

The doctor makes a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer ‘s disease after excluding other possible causes of cognitive impairment . Unlike the diagnosis of Alzheimer possible , in this case there is no other pathology related to the progressive deterioration in the patient.


Social problem

A social problem is a complication that affects a person or group of people and reduces the standard of living of the group. When a person, or their social and family environment, are unable to face the new situation of loss of health, such as cognitive impairment of a relative, we talk about a social problem.

Social Work

Social work is aimed at people who eventually find themselves in situations of risk, conflict, or breach of social and civil rights. It promotes the improvement of social situations(individual, familiar or collective) and personal capabilities and facilitates the access to services and social resources.

Support Group

Group of people who share the same problems meet regularly and, guided by a professional, help each other by sharing experiences and information. It is an intervention that aims to improve the quality of life for non-professional caregivers (or relatives) and for people with cognitive impairment.


The synapsis is the communication between nerve cells. Neurons communicate through the release of a chemical signal (neurotransmitter) at the synapsis that connects to another neuron.


Tau protein

The excess oftau protein is responsible for neurofibrillary tangles that accumulate within neurons in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.


A clinical trial is a research process that, through a controlled scientific method , must be passed by all drugs to test for their efficacy , tolerability and safety before marketing and using the drug in the general population .


Vascular dementia

It is a type of dementia caused by damage to the blood vessels of the brain , particularly cerebral infarction . After Alzheimer’s disease, it is the most common dementia of non-degenerativeorigin. In this case , early diagnosis is very important for preventing disease progression and correct risk factors.