Older adult woman sitting on bed looking at window
Project Type - Pilot Projects

Substance Use in Early-Onset Alzheimer Disease

Evaluating the relationship between substance use with the onset of different stages of Alzheimer Disease
Latin America & Caribbean


This project considers the relationship between substance use with the onset of different stages of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Substance use is a presumed risk factor for AD. Therefore, evaluation of consumption in people who already have a high risk of dementia is important. Neuroscience Group of Antioquia is a research group at Medellin, Colombia, which studies Presenilin 1 (PS1) E280A mutation carriers. These carriers will course four stages of AD: 1) asymptomatic pre-Mild Cognitive Impairment (pre-MCI), 2) symptomatic pre-MCI, 3) MCI; and 4) Dementia. Also, it is known that preclinical cognitive decline appears 12 years before the onset of clinical impairment, fact named as “Change Point” (CP). Substance consumption could modify CP and age of onset of those stages, but this association hasn’t been deeply explored.

Project Details

Objectives. 1) To evaluate substance consumption; 2) To determine its association with age of onset and progression speed of the cognitive decline. Methods. Type of study: Retrospective cohort study. Target population: Carriers who are 30 years and older. Data collection method: 1) To recruit potent candidates from our database; 2) To explain and sign the informed consent; 3) To apply a consumption questionnaire; 4) To analyze participants’ cognitive tests. Impact of the study. 1) To foster future studies that will more clearly define the biological mechanisms behind this potential association; 2) To establish a methodology that could be applied to investigate similar associations in other regions; 3) To shed light on other genetic conditions, and even on sporadic forms of dementia.