FACEHBI: A Prospective Study of Risk Factors, Biomarkers and Cognition in a Cohort of Individuals with Subjective Cognitive Decline. Study Rationale and Research Protocols

J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2017;4(2):100-108. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2016.122.


Background: Long-term longitudinal studies with multimodal biomarkers are needed to delve into the knowledge of preclinical AD. Subjective cognitive decline has been proposed as a risk factor for the development of cognitive impairment. Thus, including individuals with SCD in observational studies may be a cost-effective strategy to increase the prevalence of preclinical AD in the sample.

Objectives: To describe the rationale, research protocols and baseline characteristics of participants in the Fundació ACE Healthy Brain Initiative (FACEHBI).

Design: FACEHBI is a clinical trial (EudraCT: 2014-000798-38) embedded within a long-term observational study of individuals with SCD.

Setting: Participants have been recruited at the memory clinic of Fundació ACE (Barcelona) from two different sources: patients referred by a general practitioner and individuals from an Open House Initiative.

Participants: 200 individuals diagnosed with SCD with a strictly normal performance in a comprehensive neuropsychological battery.

Measurements: Individuals will undergo an extensive neuropsychological protocol, risk factor assessment and a set of multimodal biomarkers including florbetaben PET, structural and functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, determination of amyloid species in plasma and neurophthalmologic assessment with optical coherence tomography.

Results: Two hundred individuals have been recruited in 15 months. Mean age was 65.9 years; mean MMSE was 29.2 with a mean of 14.8 years of education.

Conclusions: FACEHBI is a long-term study of cognition, biomarkers and lifestyle that has been designed upon an innovative symptom-based approach using SCD as target population. It will shed light on the pathophysiology of preclinical AD and the role of SCD as a risk marker for the development of cognitive impairment.

Keywords: Subjective cognitive decline; biomarkers; longitudinal study; preclinical AD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyloid / blood
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors
  • Stilbenes
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence


  • Amyloid
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Biomarkers
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Stilbenes
  • 4-(N-methylamino)-4'-(2-(2-(2-fluoroethoxy)ethoxy)ethoxy)stilbene