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New IHI project aims to revolutionise the way Alzheimer’s disease is treated

The recently launched European AD-RIDDLE project will offer healthcare providers a toolbox platform of validated resources and tailored interventions to help detect, diagnose, prevent, and treat Alzheimer’s disease. The University of Eastern Finland is one of the 24 partners in the project.

AD-RIDDLE is funded by the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI), an EU public-private partnership funding health research and innovation. The project brings together a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration of academic institutions and healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, regulatory bodies, and patient advocacy organisations. 

The AD-RIDDLE consortium aims to bridge the gap between Alzheimer’s research, implementation science, and precision medicine. The project  will offer healthcare professionals a suite of validated solutions for timely detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, to match individuals with the right interventions at the right time, enabling people to better understand what they can do to reduce risk and prevent cognitive decline.

Alzheimer’s disease represents a major public health challenge. In Europe alone, around 7 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a figure that is expected to double by 2050. There is a pressing need for effective preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic solutions, implemented at scale, and for increased engagement of individuals and caregivers with disease prevention, management and care. The advent of disease modifying therapies will lead to more people seeking diagnosis and treatment. While this initially represents an increasing cost to health systems and society at large, it also presents enormous potential for prevention, opportunities for more timely diagnosis and personalised treatment options, and overall health-economic benefits in the long term.

“With new research on the efficacy of multi-domain lifestyle interventions and the promise of disease-modifying therapeutics, there is renewed hope for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers, and a window of opportunity for substantial progress,” said Professor Miia Kivipelto, Principal Investigator for the AD-RIDDLE project. 

“AD-RIDDLE represents the greatest opportunity yet for cross-sector progress in Alzheimer's research and care,” added Kivipelto, who is Professor, Research Director and Senior Geriatrician at the Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, as well as Professor of Neurogeriatrics at the University of Eastern Finland.  

The AD-RIDDLE consortium will begin a five-year effort to transform how Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is detected, diagnosed, and treated across healthcare settings. The consortium brings together a mix of world-class research, clinical practice, diagnostics, advanced analytics and data platform capabilities to the project. AD-RIDDLE builds on existing technology, biomarkers, tools, and interventions, many developed by the consortium partners through prior EU-funded initiatives, including studies building on Professor Kivipelto’s groundbreaking FINGER research. 

“In ensuring the sustainability of the healthcare system, the critical integration of science and collaboration with diverse stakeholders becomes paramount. This strategic approach enables the cost-effective and prompt integration of innovative scientific breakthroughs to clinical practice, directly enhancing the well-being of patients and their families. The University of Eastern Finland has a long tradition and strong experience in this regard,” as articulated by Eino Solje, Director of the UEF Brain Research Unit.

The UEF Brain Research Unit leads the AD-RIDDLE Work Package focusing on predictive algorithms for early detection of people at risk or in early AD stages. Another aim is to better understand AD mechanisms and factors affecting disease progression and the effects of dementia preventive therapies. “We want to be able to match individuals with the preventive therapies that they are most likely to benefit from. A decision support toolkit will be developed to inform decision-making in early precision preventive therapies,” said Alina Solomon, Professor of Neuroepidemiology.

AD-RIDDLE aims to unlock efficiencies for AD diagnosis and treatment, removing barriers to entry that traditionally slow down patient access to healthcare providers and precision medicine. The project will create a modular toolbox platform designed to provide support at all stages of the clinical pathway, including:

  • A digital community engagement portal, including self-guided assessment tools for older adults, pathways for timely referral to healthcare providers, and resources that are tailored and actionable.
  • An array of screening tools for increased accuracy in risk detection and early diagnosis, including digital cognitive assessments and blood-based biomarkers.
  • A decision support toolkit for healthcare providers, powered by validated algorithms for differential diagnoses, prevention, and care.
  • Personalised patient therapies which can be physician-supported or self-guided, including lifestyle interventions and pharmacological treatments, matching patients to the right interventions at the right time.

The AD-RIDDLE platform will allow for flexible adaptation and application in diverse settings, from memory clinics to primary care and the broader population outside of healthcare systems. A real-world testing study will be conducted in these settings across six European countries and will provide extensive evidence to support implementation of diagnostic tools, treatments and lifestyle interventions. Data from the study will be hosted in a GDPR-compliant manner on the European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND), an IMI2-funded initiative which will make datasets available for additional research and discovery, with the goal of facilitating new findings in neurodegenerative disease research.

The Real-World Implementation, Deployment, and Validation of Early Detection Tools and Lifestyle Enhancement (AD-RIDDLE) project receives funding under the auspices of the Innovative Health Initiative Joint Undertaking (IHI JU) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee. The AD-RIDDLE programme has an initial budget of over €31 million, comprising €12,090,250 from the EU, €16,421,395 from the contributing partners and €2,368,307.25 from UKRI. The budget is distributed across a total of 24 partners:

  • Region Stockholm  (manages all publicly-financed healthcare in Stockholm County)
  • Karolinska Institutet 
  • FINGERS Brain Health Institute
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Lund University 
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • Stichting VUmc
  • Universiteit Maastricht
  • Fundacio BarcelonaBeta Brain Research Center
  • SYNAPSE Research Management Partners SL
  • Alzheimer Europe
  • Alzheimer’s Disease International
  • Università Degli Studi Di Perugia
  • Gates Ventures LLC
  • Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative
  • Combinostics OY
  • Fujirebio Europe NV
  • Sanofi
  • C2N Diagnostics LLC
  • neotiv GmbH
  • Cambridge Cognition Limited
  • University of Leicester
  • Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

AD-RIDDLE press release

For more information, please contact:

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