With its rapidly aging population, China faces an inevitable increase in age-related diseases. A recent epidemiological study found a 4.85% prevalence of Alzheimer's disease among individuals aged 65 and over, and a 1.1% prevalence of Vascular Dementia;thus, China is not a low risk nation for dementia. Dementia is a significant social and health challenge for China, with experts in agreement that it is critical to improve the quality of care provided to persons with dementia and their caregivers, and to develop research programs that contribute to the development of evidence based care. Currently, limited infrastructure exists to support the development and institutionalization of such programs. This R21 application proposes a unique collaboration dedicated to enhancing the capacity for dementia research and care in China, by building upon, and expanding existing collaborations among investigators at the Peking University Institute of Mental Health (PKU-IMH), Wuhan University School of Public Health (WHU-SPH), the Department of Psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and West Virginia University. Specific project aims are to: 1) establish the interdisciplinary Dementia Care Research Center (DCRC) at the PKU-IMH, with primary Chinese collaborators from WHO/Beijing Collaborating Center for Research and Training on Mental Health, and the National Center for Mental Health, China, CDC, and other Chinese consultants from eminent academic centers around the world;2) develop the interdisciplinary Dementia Care Research Center at WHU-SPH, with training provided by PKU-IMH and experts from the U.S.;3) enable sustainable training capacity for health professionals and family caregivers in dementia care;3) increase research capability at PKU-IMH and WHU-SHP through training in standardized database development and research management;and, 4) conduct pilot studies of explanatory models of dementia and develop intervention strategies for a future R01 application. The investigators are optimistic that the collaborative research and training infrastructure developed as a result of FIC support will likely be sustained long after the end of program funding because of the strong commitment of the participating entities, including governmental/public health agencies, academic institutions, clinical centers, and NGOs, to improving the life of elders with dementia and their caregivers.
This project will provide information of the prevalence of dementia in China and on the burden associated with caregiving. This information will thus serve to inform the government of changes necessary to public health policy in order to effective cope with the ever increasing burden of dementia caregiving.
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