Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases


Frontiers in neurology




Formal publication: March 2021

Authors: Ibanez A, Yokoyama JS, Possin KL, Matallana D, Lopera F, Nitrini R, Takada LT, Custodio N, Sosa Ortiz AL, Avila-Funes JA, Behrens MI, Slachevsky A, Myers RM, Cochran JN, Brusco LI, Bruno MA, Brucki SMD, Pina-Escudero SD, Okada de Oliveira M, Donnelly Kehoe P, Garcia AM, Cardona JF, Santamaria-Garcia H, Moguilner S, Duran-Aniotz C, Tagliazucchi E, Maito M, Longoria Ibarrola EM, Pintado-Caipa M, Godoy ME, Bakman V, Javandel S, Kosik KS, Valcour V, Miller BL.

Abstract: Dementia is becoming increasingly prevalent in Latin America, contrasting with stable or declining rates in North America and Europe. This scenario places unprecedented clinical, social, and economic burden upon patients, families, and health systems. The challenges prove particularly pressing for conditions with highly specific diagnostic and management demands, such as frontotemporal dementia. Here we introduce a research and networking initiative designed to tackle these ensuing hurdles, the Multi-partner consortium to expand dementia research in Latin America (ReDLat). First, we present ReDLat’s regional research framework, aimed at identifying the unique genetic, social, and economic factors driving the presentation of frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in Latin America relative to the US. We describe ongoing ReDLat studies in various fields and ongoing research extensions. Then, we introduce actions coordinated by ReDLat and the Latin America and Caribbean Consortium on Dementia (LAC-CD) to develop culturally appropriate diagnostic tools, regional visibility and capacity building, diplomatic coordination in local priority areas, and a knowledge-to-action framework toward a regional action plan. Together, these research and networking initiatives will help to establish strong cross-national bonds, support the implementation of regional dementia plans, enhance health systems’ infrastructure, and increase translational research collaborations across the continent.