Global Brain Health Leader Awards for Dementia Prevention, Care and Support Announced

To address the growing worldwide public health crisis due to dementia, the prevalence of which is expected to triple worldwide to 152 million by 2050, three leading organizations announced this year’s Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders.

The Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), Alzheimer’s Association, and the UK-based Alzheimer’s Society have united to address global challenges with access to care, stigma, brain health risk factors, and other key issues through a competitive funding program for emerging leaders in brain health and dementia.

Investments include research in the areas of advocacy, systems change, applied research and more. The awards will drive projects, activities, and research to address disparities in dementia diagnosis, treatment, and care for vulnerable populations and their families.

The 2019 awards—27 in total—include a study of air pollution and dementia in Brazil, an investigation of social media use as an early indication of cognitive decline in Egypt, and an arts project in the U.S. that involves people living with dementia and their care partners in the creation and active participation in a dance performance.

This year’s Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders span 14 countries across five continents, including Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Romania, South Africa, UK and USA. The total funding of approximately $675,000 (£533,000, €612,000) includes about $25,000 (£19,700, €22,700) for each individual award to enable the recipients’ to pilot test a project and then, if successful, seek further resources to scale up their work.

“The Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders program aims to help emerging leaders in brain health to delay, prevent and reduce the impact of dementia,” said Victor Valcour, MD, PhD, executive director of GBHI. “These awards will drive real impact across the globe.”

List of 2019 Pilot Project Awards

  • Rhythm for Life, a Training for Creative Musical Interaction in Dementia (UK; Bentley, Jane)

  • Preventable Burden of Dementia in South Africa (South Africa/USA; Bobrow, Kirsty)

  • Why Participate: Exploring Motives to Participate in Prevention Research (Ireland; Booi, Laura)

  • Exploring the Power of Active Clowning Aphasia Intervention (Brazil; Brandao, Lenisa)

  • My Life My Way, a CLEAR Model for Dementia Care (UK; Casey, Siobhan)

  • The Magdalena Project; Erasing Stigma Around Aging and Dementia (USA; Christa, Gabri)

  • Optimizing Brain Health for Care Partners: An Educational Curriculum (USA; Culler, Krystal)

  • Early Screening for Dementia: Downstream Impacts on the Health System (USA; Dawson, Walter)

  • Exposure to Air Pollution and Dementia: a Clinicopathologic Study (Brazil; Fajersztajn, Laís)

  • Informal Caregivers: Mixed Methods Approach to Study of Burden Experiences (Ireland; Galvin, Miriam)

  • Situational Analysis of Dementia in Colombia (Colombia; Guerrero, Alejandra)

  • Towards a Latin American Approach to Dementia Networking (Argentina; Ibáñez, Agustín)

  • Strengthening Research Capacity and Policy Responses to Dementia in Romania (Ireland/Romania; Ilinca, Stefania)

  • Brain Volume and Diffusion Changes in Presymptomatic Familial Prion Disease (Israel; Keret, Ophir)

  • A Photographic Perspective on Aging in Peru (Peru; Kornhuber, Alex)

  • ISM: An Intergenerational Montessori-Based Approach for Successful Aging (Costa Rica; Leon Salas, Jorge)

  • Frequency and Determinants of Vascular Cognitive Impairment in Post Stroke (Mexico; Martin, Jeronimo)

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Informational Supports for People with TBI (Botswana; Mbakile, Lingani)

  • Brain Networks in People with Down Syndrome: the Effect of AD pathology (Ireland; McGlinchey, Eimear)

  • Detecting Cognitive Impairment in Brazilians with Low Education (Brazil; Okada de Oliveira, Maira)

  • Characterizing Mistreatment in Mexican Cognitively Impaired Older Adults (Mexico; Piña Escudero, Stefanie)

  • Cognitive Health and Functional Abilities of Illiterate Older Peruvians (Peru; Pintado, Maritza)

  • Promoting Brain Health: Development of Patient Education Resources (South Africa; Ranchod, Kirti)

  • For You, (a dance performance for people affected by dementia) (USA; Richie, Rowena)

  • Facebook Interaction as a Potential Marker of Cognitive Decline (Egypt; Salama, Mohamed)

  • Rewriting the Dementia Narrative Across the Globe Through Story (USA; Walrath, Dana)

  • Finding the Right Words: Alzheimer’s, Literature, Science (USA; Weinstein, Cindy)

Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI)

The Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) is a leader in the global community dedicated to protecting the world’s aging populations from threats to brain health. GBHI works to reduce the scale and impact of dementia around the world by training and connecting the next generation of leaders in brain health through the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program; by collaborating in expanding preventions and interventions; and by sharing knowledge and engaging in advocacy.

The Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program, based at GBHI, provides innovative training, networking and support to emerging leaders who are focused on bringing transformative change to improve brain health and reduce the impact of dementia worldwide. It is one of seven Atlantic Fellows programs to advance fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies.

GBHI is based at the University of California, San Francisco, and Trinity College Dublin. Visit or find us on Twitter @GBHI_Fellows.

Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s®. Visit or call 800.272.3900. Follow us on Twitter at @alzassociation.

Alzheimer’s Society

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, fund research, campaign to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The mission of Alzheimer’s Society UK is to transform the landscape of dementia forever. Until the day we find a cure, we will strive to create a society where those affected by dementia are supported and accepted, able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.

Alzheimer’s Society relies on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0330 333 0804 or visiting

Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit

Photo credit: Alex Kornhumber, Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health