Dr. Rafael Simó is the Director of Diabetes and Metabolism Research Unit at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Head of the Diabetes Section of the Endocrinology Department at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, and Professor of Medicine & Endocrinology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Prof. Simó is the Vice-President of the European Association of Diabetes Eye Complications Group (EASDec), and the Diabetologist of Expert Committee on Diabetic Retinopathy and Vascular Diseases of the EVICR.net (European Vision Clinical Research). He is currently responsible for RUN 4 (Tertiary Care Based Patient Engagement) of MOPEAD.
What is Tertiary Care Based Patient Engagement?
Diabetic patients have an almost two-fold higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) compared to age-matched non-diabetic subjects. There is evidence that type 2 diabetes (T2D) accelerates the progression of mild cognitive impairment to AD, with glycaemic control, the duration of the disease and the presence of diabetic complications being important risk factors. Therefore, it is reasonable to postulate that those patients attended in tertiary care will present a higher risk to develop AD due to the elevated association of co-morbidities and diabetes duration.
On these bases, Tertiary Care based patient engagement is planning to identify those T2D patients with early stages of cognitive impairment and to pinpoint the main associated risk factors.
How will Tertiary care based patient engagement support MOPEAD’s goals?
The number of cases of diabetes-associated AD is expected to increase because of the diabetes pandemic and the concomitant rise in ageing populations worldwide. The implementation of a screening tool in T2D patients attended in a tertiary care unit might be useful in detecting cognitive impairment in a prodromal phase in a high-risk population.
How will this run be performed?
The Tertiary Care Based Patient Engagement strategy will be rolled-out across the five countries participating in the project. In each country, 100 T2D patients, older than 65 years, without any formal previous diagnosis of cognitive impairment, will be screened using MMSE and specific questionnaires. T2D patients with, or at risk of, cognitive impairment will be referred to the Memory Unit for further evaluation.
How will participants be recruited?
The patients fulfilling the criteria will be recruited consecutively from the outpatient clinic of the diabetes care providers belonging to Tertiary Care Units that participate in the MOPEAD project.