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Prevalence of Dementia in Lebanon: A Pilot Study

Almost 10 percent of the Lebanese population is older than 65, effectively putting them at greater risk for dementia. Yet, the country lacks the social and healthcare policies to meet the challenges of caring for those with the aging-related disease.

That’s why a group of researchers from the American University of Beirut have joined forces with others from Denmark and the United Kingdom to launch the first national study on dementia, with funding from the US National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Aging.  Study results are expected to be out within a year.

The study will be conducted by the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. AUB is a renowned educational, research, and clinical institution in the Middle East and the world with high standards in the fields of medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, and public health.  Associate Professor Monique Chaaya, Principle Investigator, and Assistant Professor Lilian Ghandour, Co-Investigator, from The Department of Epidemiology and Population Health are experts in mental health epidemiology, national surveys and field work on youth and elderly populations in Lebanon. Samir Atweh, Co-Investigator, is Professor in clinical neurology and Director of the Division of Neurology, Department of Internal Medicine, AUB Medical Center, and Associate Dean of Medical Education at AUB. He will contribute with expertise in dementia diagnostics.

Professor Gunhild Waldemar, Principle Investigator, and Dr. Kieu Phung, Project Coordinator, from The Danish Dementia Research Center (DDRC, previously the Memory Disorders Research Group), Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark, will provide expertise in dementia diagnostics and dementia epidemiology. The DDRC is a well-established clinical and research centre and has conducted a wide range of national and international projects in clinical dementia research including studies in bio-fluid markers, brain imaging, pharmacological treatment, neurogenetics, and epidemiology. It is also a tertiary multidisciplinary memory clinic for people with cognitive problems from the whole country.

Professor Martin Prince is Principal Investigator for the Institute of Psychiatry

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