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Logo of bmcphBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Public Health
 
BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 519.
Published online 2012 July 12. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-519
PMCID: PMC3461490

The epidemiology of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in community-living seniors: protocol of the MemoVie cohort study, Luxembourg

Abstract

Background

Cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are increasingly considered a major public health problem. The MemoVie cohort study aims to investigate the living conditions or risk factors under which the normal cognitive capacities of the senior population in Luxembourg (≥ 65 year-old) evolve (1) to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – transitory non-clinical stage – and (2) to AD. Identifying MCI and AD predictors undeniably constitutes a challenge in public health in that it would allow interventions which could protect or delay the occurrence of cognitive disorders in elderly people. In addition, the MemoVie study sets out to generate hitherto unavailable data, and a comprehensive view of the elderly population in the country.

Methods/design

The study has been designed with a view to highlighting the prevalence in Luxembourg of MCI and AD in the first step of the survey, conducted among participants selected from a random sample of the general population. A prospective cohort is consequently set up in the second step, and appropriate follow-up of the non-demented participants allows improving the knowledge of the preclinical stage of MCI. Case-control designs are used for cross-sectional or retrospective comparisons between outcomes and biological or clinical factors. To ensure maximal reliability of the information collected, we decided to opt for structured face to face interviews. Besides health status, medical and family history, demographic and socio-cultural information are explored, as well as education, habitat network, social behavior, leisure and physical activities. As multilingualism is expected to challenge the cognitive alterations associated with pathological ageing, it is additionally investigated. Data relative to motor function, including balance, walk, limits of stability, history of falls and accidents are further detailed. Finally, biological examinations, including ApoE genetic polymorphism are carried out. In addition to standard blood parameters, the lipid status of the participants is subsequently determined from the fatty acid profiles in their red blood cells. The study obtained the legal and ethical authorizations.

Discussion

By means of the multidisciplinary MemoVie study, new insights into the onset of cognitive impairment during aging should be put forward, much to the benefit of intervention strategies as a whole.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Population-based study, Nested case-control cohort, Aging, Cognition, Mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease

Articles from BMC Public Health are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central