Barcelona, January 16th 2020 


Pioneer study in the State that allows predicting the risk of developing dementia

FACEHBI study of early Alzheimer's detection, with 200 healthy volunteers, will last 8 years


•    The study has been conducting a complete medical and neuropsychological follow-up since 2014 for 200 clinically healthy volunteers who submit subjective memory complaints

•    The data collected until now in this study show that the risk of developing neurodegenerative or vascular diseases, susceptible to dementia, can be predicted

•    With this expansion, the study is consolidated as one of the most durable and comprehensive in the field of Alzheimer's conducted with healthy people, internationally


Fundació ACE will renew the FACEHBI study (ACE Healthy Brain Initivative Foundation) for three more years, an investigation that seeks to determine the relationship of subjective memory complaints as a risk factor in Alzheimer's disease.

With this expansion, the study, which was launched in 2014 and which carries out an exhaustive medical follow-up of 200 healthy volunteers, becomes one of the most complete of these characteristics to date.

The study, which is part of the Prevention and Early Diagnosis Unit of the entity, has managed to establish a predictive system to determine the risk of developing pathologies related to dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, vascular, psycho-affective or other degenerative diseases such as dementia with Lewy bodies.

The 200 FACEHBI participants annually perform very thorough medical tests that include a neurological and neuropsychological examination, an MRI and a blood biomarker test.

To these tests are added already recognized biomarkers that detect amyloid protein such as PET or Tau protein analysis, among others. Another promising new line of research that has begun in recent years is related to the intestinal bacterial flora and its influence on neurodegeneration.

Dr. Mercè Boada, co-founder and medical director of the Foundation emphasizes that: “It is thanks to the immense generosity of the volunteers who are involved in these tests and who give us their data that we can move forward in the early detection of dementia. We have always believed that citizen participation will be capital in the fight against dementia and this study has shown it”.

FACEHBI has been developed successfully so far. The recruitment of the 200 participants was completed in just fifteen months and the adherence rate, after four years of follow-up is above 80%. In addition, there have been no unforeseen or adverse circumstances related to the study procedures and, both the methodology of the analysis and the baseline data of the participants have already been published in prestigious scientific journals with a high impact factor.

The commitment of these volunteers who, for five years participating in the study, is renewed, in this way, for the next three years contributing to consolidate this line of research that, according to Dr. Boada herself, “has provided us with very valuable information and that we are convinced that it will continue giving us many keys to be able to predict the development of the disease ”.

Objective: early detection of Alzheimer

Faced with a disease that today has no cure and increasingly affects people, to obtain an early diagnosis of dementia, and when it is still time to act, it has become a priority for society and one of the main objectives of Fundació ACE. It is for this purpose that initiatives such as FACEHBI study or the Open House Days have been launched in which free memory revisions are offered for people over 50 years old.

FACEHBI project is based on the fact that some people, even obtaining standard results in medical tests, perceive some type of memory loss, which is clinically called subjective memory complaints. According to a previous study by German scientists, these people are more at risk of developing dementia in a short period of time.

However, Fundació ACE insists that not all people who have Alzheimer's disease are able to detect it before, nor do all the people who complain about memory loss end up developing a disease. In fact, stress, anxiety or depression are some of the causes that can cause memory losses that are not necessarily linked to dementia.