Think Brain Health conference highlights: Personalized plans, blood biomarkers and early conversations
Presentations at the November 2020 Think Brain Health conference have highlighted three important areas for development in achieving the Think Brain Health goals: personalized plans, blood biomarkers, and early conversations.
While overall dementia risk varies, based on many factors, speakers highlighted the potential for personalized plans that could be developed through combining risk profiling and early disease detection. Identifying individual risk can promote a sense of partnership between the individual and care providers, improve adherence to intervention strategies, and help healthcare professionals manage populations with or at risk of neurodegenerative brain disorders. The role of blood-based and genetic biomarker information in identifying both at risk populations and risk at the individual level was highlighted, and a key theme was the need for early conversations to promote public understanding that preventing brain disease is possible and to prioritize research and build infrastructure to enable prevention, early detection and management of neurodegenerative brain disease.
Panel discussions at the conference produced a consensus for some next steps to guide the development and implementation of suitable risk-reduction interventions:
- Encourage patients to ask for more information about engaging in conversations about brain health early and giving them a voice
- Enhance communication and raise awareness of the need to start conversations about brain health early in life and shift focus to global preventive approaches
- Educate healthcare professionals and develop resources to derive individual risk estimates and allow implementable advice while breaking down barriers between researchers and clinical care