Nordic-Japan multidomain interventions for healthy aging and prevention of dementia and disability

Dementia and cognitive impairment are key challenges for healthy longevity in aging societies. Dementia is one of the main causes of disability with huge impact on persons with dementia, the families, and rising costs for the society.

Japan and the Nordics are super-aging societies facing dementia epidemic in the coming years if preventive measures are not found and applied. The Nordic-Japan multidomain interventions for healthy aging and prevention of dementia and disability (NJ-FINGERS) project aims to investigate promotion of brain health and prevention of cognitive impairment, dementia and disability.

This project will identify people at-risk of dementia who may benefit from preventive interventions and investigate biological mechanisms for the development and prevention of dementia including between country comparisons of the Nordic countries and Japan.

The specific objectives are to: 1) Investigate the feasibility, adherence and efficacy of the multidomain preventive interventions;2) Develop multifactorial risk prediction models for dementia prevention including modifiable risk factors and comorbidities, to identify high-risk groups that are still within the window of opportunity for risk reduction/prevention; 3) Investigate mechanisms for prevention of dementia using biomarkers relevant for dementia/AD, and by identifying subgroups with the best/worst intervention responses; 4) Investigate the direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among older adults at increased risk of dementia.

This project will combine data from pioneering prevention randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and large observational datasets from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Japan. FINGER (Finland) is so far the only large successful cognitive impairment prevention RCT with 2-year multidomain lifestyle intervention. MIND-AD (Sweden), J-MINT (Japan) and MET-FINGER (multinational) trials are harmonized with FINGER, and shared COVID-19 survey was conducted in several participating countries facilitating joint analyses. Federated data analysis solutions will be implemented together with traditional data transfer as needed for the joint and comparative analyses across countries.

NJ-FINGERS will create a new direction in collaboration within the already initiated projects, focusing on shared and differing factors in dementia prediction and prevention in the Nordic countries and Japan to provide new scientific knowledge for precision prevention and supporting healthy longevity.


Maria Nilsson

Maria Nilsson

Special Adviser