The new research hub – to be based in Chicago - will connect scientists with clinicians as part of a ‘professional interest area’ (PIA) group, helping them to to make more informed decisions on how nutrition influences dementia risk, and co-ordinate future research.
Bowman, who the head of ageing and cognitive health at Nestlé’s Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), founded the PIA with two other scientists from academia, and will serve as its first industry chairman.
“In 2000, it was estimated that nearly 600 million people worldwide were aged 60 or over; in 2025, ten years from now, that figure will reach 1.2 billion, increasing from 10% to 15% of the total population,” said Bowman. “This ‘global population ageing’ is a triumph of modern society in terms of life expectancy. However, it also places many more individuals at risk of developing age-related chronic diseases.”
According to Bowman, there are several interactive mechanisms that appear to modify the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s dementia: “Here at NIHS we are beginning to unravel this complexity and map out ‘risk profiles’ that will enable the development of more targeted nutritional therapy.”
The new research hub will also help members to coordinate large-scale research efforts and share and develop innovative ideas in the hope of accelerating the pace of new discoveries.
The PIA’s initial aims include:
- developing and advancing clinical and research applications for nutrition in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders;
- developing dedicated research sessions on nutrition for consideration at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference;
- promoting the development of consensus criteria for nutrition research and interpretation of findings on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders; and
- fostering the creation of multi-study collaborations around nutrition, metabolism Alzheimer’s disease, and related disorders.