Understanding the Long-Term Role of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Following Lifestyle Changes: Miia Kivipelto, MD, PhD


The professor of clinical geriatric epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet discussed a subgroup analysis of the FINGERS trial and the clinical utility of the precursor to serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"There is still so much we need to focus on prevention because the list of modifiable risk factors has been getting longer and longer. I believe it's not yet the final list we are having. There are novel risk factors we are studying or at least more new risk factors, like hopelessness and loneliness."

There are been several within the Alzheimer disease (AD) field who have dedicated their research efforts towards prevention of the disease, including Miia Kivipelto, MD, PhD. Kivipelto, a professor of clinical geriatric epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet, is the lead investigator of the FINGERS study, a worldwide analysis of the long-term effects of lifestyle interventions on AD prevention. At the 2022 Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference, held November 29 to December 2, in San Francisco, California, she presented a subgroup analysis of the trial assessing serum levels of both brain-derived neurotrophic factor in its mature form (mBDNF) and its precursor (proBDNF) in elderly persons at risk.

The sub-sample included 151 patients aged 60 to 79 years with high adherence to the intervention protocol. In the study, patients received a multidomain intervention that combined several lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise, cognitive training, social stimulation, and vascular risk management, over 24 months. At the conclusion of the treatment period, Kivipelto and her colleagues observed a positive association between proBDNF levels at baseline and improved memory performance. This association was especially strong for changes in complex memory performance.

Kivipelto sat down with NeurologyLive® at the conference to discuss the findings, and what it means for the clinical community. Additionally, she provided context to the unanswered questions with prevention, as well as which areas will continue to need more attention in the coming years.

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