Follow-up of cohorts recruited in general population with active screening and diagnosis of incident cases, is the most appropriate epidemiological design for studying incidence and risk factors of Alzheimer disease and other types of dementia. In France, people considered in the PAQUID study, then in the EVA study, have been the first cohorts on dementia. They have prepared the way for the Three-City (3C) study, conducted in Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. About 9500 persons aged 65 years and over have been recruited in these three cities and will be followed-up during four years. The main objective of the 3C study is to investigate the relation between vascular risk and neurodegenerative diseases. The 3C study will provide essential data for defining strategies for dementia prevention. To measure the impact of the strategies on the incidence of dementia and the social burden of this disease will be an important public health objective in the near future.