Optimizing the aging Brain? Situating Ethical Aspects of Dementia Prevention


Researchers today believe that one in three dementia cases might be prevented, if at least nine risk factors are effectively managed over the life course. This paradigm shift includes a great emphasis on prediction of cognitive decline through biomarkers and digital tracking technologies to be employed throughout life. Based on pilot studies, we detected a number of emerging ethical and social incongruities affecting the capacity of individuals in their respective environments to recoup the potential of this paradigm shift The aim of this project is to examine how the new neuroscientific discourse on dementia prevention is taking shape in Germany, Canada, and Switzerland and how emerging recommendations about lifestyle, medication-use, and the use of digital technologies are interlinked with national health policy, media and, more generally, cultures of ageing. This project employs a multi-perspective, comparative, qualitative approach, combining stakeholder interview studies; discourse analysis of public, scientific and policy narratives; focused ethnographies to capture perspectives from everyday life; and an integrated analysis of the ethical, social, epistemic and cultural aspects of the new dementia. We will provide nuanced and context-specific data for both theoretical and ?applied? aspects of dementia prevention. Moreover, provide tailored knowledge translation strategies to different stakeholders, including online material, video-clips and a virtual exhibition


prevention, dementia, prediction, risks, ethics, policy, cross-cultural comparison, stakeholder, scenario, conceptualisation, situatedness

Call topic

ELSA of Neuroscience

Proposed runtime

2021 - 2024

Project team

Silke Schicktanz (Coordinator)
Germany (BMBF)
Annette Leibing
Canada (FRQS, INMHA)
Alessandro Blasimme
Switzerland (SNSF)

Lay summary