Associate Professor Michael Valenzuela
The FINGER trial came out last year, and was one of the first large-scale studies to look at so-called multi-modal dementia prevention. So this was a trial where they preselected people who had a number of risk factors for dementia, and then they underwent a multi-modal intervention. So what that means is that it was several streams of lifestyle changes that the investigators were trying to target. They targeted physical activity, so more exercise; they targeted cognitive activity, through brain training; they tried to optimise the management of risk factors, like hypertension and smoking; and also optimised their diet. That’s why we call it multi-modal, because it was targeting many different lifestyle factors. And what the study showed was that, after two years of this type of intervention, it was successful. So those in the intervention group improved in their cognitive abilities more than the placebo group. But what is often missed in discussions of the FINGER trial, is a little bit more complicated, and a little bit more technical, but I think worth talking about, which is that the effect size was very small. And, when we’re talking about effect size, we’re talking about what was the magnitude of the difference in the intervention group versus the placebo group. When we talk about effect sizes, we’re often talking about, “Was it small, was it moderate, or was it large?”
Whether a single or multiple lifestyle intervention is the best approach for preventing dementia, we just don’t know. I think there is a question mark now whether we can just assume that combining lifestyle interventions is better than any one or the other. So we’ve really got to do the research, to compare stand-alone interventions versus multi-modal interventions. It may be the case that doing different lifestyle interventions back to back, or one after the other, may be more effective than putting them all at the same time. So I think there’s just a lot more research that has to be done.
我们只是不知道到底是单一还是多重生活方式干预是预防认知症的最佳方法。 我认为现在有一个问号，我们是否可以假设组合生活方式干预比任何一个或其他更好。 因此，我们真的要做研究来比较独立的干预措施与多模式干预措施。可能的情况是，不同的生活方式干预背靠背，或者一个接一个地进行，可能比将它们全部同时进行更加有效。 所以我认为还有很多研究需要做。