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The ZARADEMP project (ZARAgoza DEMentia
DEPression project) was designed as a longitudinal,
community-based study to examine the incidence
of dementia and the risk factors in incident cases of
dementia. It was carried out in Zaragoza, a typical,
large city in Spain, with an important proportion
of inhabitants coming from surrounding rural
areas (12). A stratified random sample of individuals
55 years of age and older, with proportional
allocation by age and sex, drawn from the eligible
individuals (n = 157 787) in the Spanish official
census lists of 1991, was invited to participate in
the baseline examination.

The LRRK2 Cohort Consortium (LCC) comprises three closed studies: the LRRK2 Cross-sectional Study, LRRK2 Longitudinal Study and the 23andMe Blood Collection Study. The LCC followed standardized data acquisition protocols, and clinical data and biological samples are stored in a comprehensive Parkinson’s database and biorepository, respectively. A total of 1,213 Idiopathic PD subjects, 1,168 PD subjects with genetic mutations in LRRK2, 1,123 unaffected subjects with genetic mutations in LRRK2, and 779 Healthy Controls (HC) were recruited.

The Parkinson’s Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI) is an observational, international study designed to establish biomarker defined cohorts and identify clinical, imaging, genetic and biospecimen Parkinson’s disease (PD) progression markers to accelerate disease modifying therapeutic trials. A total of 423 untreated PD, 196 Healthy Control (HC), 64 SWEDD (scans without evidence of dopaminergic deficit) subjects, and 65 Prodromal subjects (individuals with hyposmia or REM Sleep Behavior Disorder) were enrolled. PPMI is actively enrolling affected and unaffected individuals with genetic mutations in LRRK2, GBA, or SNCA through the end of 2018. For the most up to date enrollment numbers, please visit http://www.ppmi-info.org/study-design/study-cohorts/. To enroll PD subjects as early as possible following diagnosis, subjects were eligible with only asymmetric bradykinesia or tremor plus a dopamine transporter (DAT) binding deficit on SPECT imaging. Acquisition of data was standardized as detailed at www.ppmi-info.org.

The Vallecas Project is developed in the Research Unit of the Alzheimer’s Center of the Reina Sofía Foundation by researchers of the CIEN Foundation. Its main objective is to determine a probabilistic algorithm for the identification of individuals at risk of dementia type Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the course of a few years. This algorithm will be based on the combination of sociodemographic, clinical, neurological, neuropsychological, biological (from blood determinations) and neuroimaging (various 3 Tesla magnetic resonance modalities).

The recruitment phase of the Vallecas Project participants was extended from October 2011 to December 2013. Finally, a total of 1,213 volunteers aged between 70 and 85 and of both sexes were initially evaluated. Once included in the study, it is monitored annually for 5 years in order to assess the evolutionary profile of all participants, specifically identifying those who develop cognitive impairment and / or dementia. The cohort is being followed up annually for 4 years after the baseline.

AWHS is a prospective, longitudinal cohort study based on the annual health exams of 5,688 workers of the General Motors Spain automobile assembly plant located in Figueruelas (Zaragoza, Spain). The study was designed to evaluate the trajectories of traditional and emergent cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk factors (overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, dietary habits or sedentary lifestyle), and their association with metabolic abnormalities and the prevalence and progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in a population of middle-aged men and women in Spain.

The specific aims of AWHS are:

1. To establish the research infrastructure required for a longitudinal cohort study, including setting up a biobank of repeated biological samples to conduct future assays in stored serum, plasma, whole blood, urine and DNA.

2. To identify new genetic, behavioural, and environmental determinants of the progression of adiposity and of the development of metabolic abnormalities and cardiovascular risk factors.

3. To characterize the prevalence and progression of subclinical CVD through non-invasive imaging techniques and their genetic, behavioural, and environmental determinants.

4. To interact with external investigators to promote the use of the study database and stored materials for ancillary studies and to disseminate the study findings to the scientific community, to public health authorities, and to the general public.

To collect data, factory workers undergo a standardized annual clinical exam, providing a clinical history, including clinical events and hospitalizations over the past year and current medication use, and undergo a physical exam, consisting of anthropometry (height, weight, and waist circumference), blood pressure measurements and heart rate, as well as laboratory assays, providing biological samples including serum, plasma, blood, urine and DNA. Data collection at the annual medical exams is conducted by the physicians and nurses of the Medical Services of General Motors Spain, who underwent training and standardization programs organized by the study investigators.

Each year, one random third of study participants 40 ヨ55 years of age at baseline (n=2667) are selected for subclinical atherosclerosis imaging (Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring, 2D ultrasound of carotid arteries, infrarenal aorta and femoral arteries), and for additional questionnaires of cardiovascular and lifestyle factors (dietary habits, sedentary, physical activity and sleep).

On September 2017, a substudy will begin with the aim of identifying early cognitive impairment in workers over 55 years of age, by using specific questionnaires and gene screening (Apo E).

Workers were excluded from the cohort if they have clinically overt CVD, or a major clinical condition limiting survival to <3 years at baseline. All laboratory procedures have been reviewed and improved to meet the ISO 9001:2008 standard, verified by an external audit.

Last Update 21/09/2017

The aim of the Alfa Study is to focus on the processes taking place before the initiation of Alzheimer’s symptoms in order to design interventions to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Inclusion criteria were being cognitively normal Spanish and/or Catalan-speaking persons aged between 45 and 74 years that agreed with the study procedures and tests: clinical interview and questionnaires associated to risk factors, cognitive tests, a blood sample extraction for DNA analysis, and MRI.

A subset (n=450) of the ALFA parent cohort participants are currently being recruited / undergoing a nested longitudinal long-term study, named the ALFA+ study, in which a more detailed phenotyping will be performed. On top of a similar characterization as in the ALFA parent cohort, it will entail the acquisition of both wet (CSF, blood, and urine sample collection) and imaging (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and PET) biomarkers. Furthermore, ALFA parent cohort participants may also be invited to participate in other BBRC studies such the ALFAlife primary intervention study (n=400) or the full genetic and neuroimaging characterisation study referred to as ALFAgenetics (n=2000).

Last Update 21/09/2017

This is the largest multi-centre study of ageing in men in the world and intends to identify the nature and frequency of some of the symptoms of ageing in men, the relationships between these symptoms to hormonal changes and other risk factors.

In total, 3369 men in 8 different countries in Europe are taking part in the study. These 8 centres are Manchester – UK, Malmo – Sweden, Tartu – Estonia, Lodz – Poland, Szeged – Hungary, Florence – Italy, Santiago de Compostela – Spain, Leuven – Belgium. In each centre, ~400 men aged between 40 and 79 years at the start of the study have been recruited. They will be followed up to look for future changes in their hormonal and general health status. The men will be investigated initially on two occasions, at the start and then ~5 years later. It is highly likely that the study will continue beyond 5 years and further testing will be organised subsequently. The aims of the study are to:

  1. Document geographical variations in the ageing-related involution decline of endocrine function in European men;
  2. Explain the variability in the rate of secular decline in endocrine functions on the basis of socio-demographic, lifestyle, co-morbid, ethnic/racial, or genetic factors;
  3. Predict the physical and psychological health status of individuals based on the variation in ageing-related endocrine decline and changes in body composition.

Last update – 24/04/2017

The key goal of EUROSCA-NHS is to determine and compare the rate of disease progression in SCA1, SCA2, SCA3 and SCA6. To this end, a newly developed and validated ataxia scale (Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia, SARA) will be used. EUROSCA-NHS has a number of secondary aims including determination of the order and occurrence of non-ataxia symptoms, assessment of activities of daily living (ADL) and quality of life (QoL), and identification of predictors of disease progression and survival.

Patients are first seen at a baseline visit, followed by annual visits for 3 years scheduled ᄆ 3 months around the specified time point. After the initial 3 year observation period, visits are done at irregular intervals each time they went to hospital.

Last update – 12/08/2017

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is a prospective cohort with more than 521,000 study participants enrolled from 23 centres in 10 western European countries. Detailed information on diet, lifestyle characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and medical history was collected at recruitment (1992-1999).

Biological samples including plasma, serum, leukocytes, and erythrocytes were also collected at baseline from 387,889 individuals and are stored at the International Agency for Research on Cancer – World Health Organization (IARC-WHO) and mirrored at EPIC collaborating centres. Overall, the EPIC biorepositories host more than 9 million aliquots, constituting one of the largest biobanks in the world for biochemical and genetic investigations on cancer and other chronic diseases. Follow-up measures of lifestyle exposures have been collected and will be centralized at IARC in 2016.

Last update – 25/04/2017

The Gipuzkoa Alzheimer Project (PGA) is a longitudinal study on pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease. This study aims to investigate the prevalence, clinical, cognitive and neuroimaging features and potential risk factors related to cardiovascular health and lifestyles for pre-clinical AD in asymptomatic (or very mildly symtopmatic, e.g. SCD) subjects from the community.

Follow-up Scheduled every 3 years for a minimum of 12 years. The first 3-year follow-up was completed in June 2015. The loss of subjects in the follow up was 9 %. 80% of people who donated cerebrospinal fluid at the baseline visit did the same in this follow-up visit. Second follow-up visit (6 yrs) to be started in April 2017.

Last update: 16/01/2017