BIOFACE - Study of Biomarkers in early-onset mild cognitive impairment at Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona

Instituto de Salud Carlos III

The BIOFACE project analyzes different biomarkers (neuroimaging, genetic and biochemical) in order to assess whether these can be a useful diagnostic tool for mild cognitive impairment in people under 65 years old.

Despite the fact that age is the main risk factor for the development of dementia, cognitive decline can also manifest itself at younger ages. Early-onset dementia is a serious health and social problem, since it affects people in the productive years of their working lives and with economic and family responsibilities.

In view of the evidence, the study of biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease in vesicles such as plasma neuronal exosomes (PNS), capable of making an early diagnosis of the disease, is especially urgent in the group of younger people, where the differentiation of a neurodegenerative process from other causes of cognitive impairment has important occupational, social and family implications.

BIOFACE analyses different biomarkers (neuroimaging, genetic and biochemical) in order to assess whether these can be a useful diagnostic tool for mild cognitive impairment in people under 65. This clinical study, of 2 years of follow-up, observes the evolution of people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment of presenile initiation at Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona. It is expected that around 200 people will end up participating in the study.

BIOFACE researchers are evaluating a panel of biomarkers in plasma exosomes of neural origin, brain magnetic resonance and biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease in the cerebrospinal fluid. They also study comorbidities, psychoemotional factor scales, neurological exploration and neuropsychological performance.

Each patient will make 3 different visits throughout the study: a baseline visit (BV) and two follow-up visits (V1 and V2, respectively). The follow-up visits, which will serve to determine which subjects with cognitive impairment convert to dementia, will be separated from each other by one year. 

Data sheet

Start date


End date


Sponsors / Funders

Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) / Proyecto de Investigación de Salud (FIS)


123.420 €

Project leader at Fundació ACE

Dra. Mercè Boada, Founding member and Chief Medical Officer


Researchers of Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona

Links of interest

Scientific publications

BIOFACE: A prospective Study of Risk Factors, Cognition, and Biomarkers in a Cohort of Individuals with Early-Onset Mild Cognitive Impairment. Study Rationale and Research Protocols.
Jounal of Alzheimer's Disease. 16 Aug 2021. 1-17,2021 doi: 10.3233/JAD-210254.
Ester Esteban de Antonio, Alba Pérez-Cordón, Silvia Gil, Adelina Orellana, Amanda Cano, Montserrat Alegret, Ana Espinosa, Emilio Alarcón-Martín, Sergi Valero, Joan Martínez, Itziar de Rojas, Óscar Sotolongo-Grau, Elvira Martín, Lluis Tárraga, Agustín Ruiz, Marta Marquié, Mercè Boada on behalf of the BIOFACE study group.

Automatized FACEmemory® scoring is related to Alzheimer's disease phenotype and biomarkers in early-onset mild cognitive impairment: the BIOFACE cohort.
Alzheimers Res Ther. 18 March 2022. 14(43) 22 doi: 10.1186/s13195-022-00988-8.
Montserrat Alegret, Oscar Sotolongo-Grau, Ester Esteban de Antonio, Alba Pérez-Cordón, Adelina Orellana, Ana Espinosa, Silvia Gil, Daniel Jiménez, Gemma Ortega, Angela Sanabria, Natalia Roberto, Isabel Hernández, Maitee Rosende-Roca, Juan Pablo Tartari, Emilio Alarcon-Martin, Itziar de Rojas, Laura Montrreal, Xavier Morató, Amanda Cano, Lluís Tárraga, Agustín Ruiz, Sergi Valero, Marta Marquié & Mercè Boada