The Israel Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention (IRAP) Study: Design and Baseline Characteristics

Ramit Ravona-Springer*, Inbal Sharvit-Ginon, Ithamar Ganmore, Lior Greenbaum, Barbara B. Bendlin, Shelley A. Sternberg, Abigail Livny, Liran Domachevsky, Israel Sandler, Simona Ben Haim, Sapir Golan, Liat Ben-Ami, Orit Lesman-Segev, Sigalit Manzali, Anthony Heymann, Michal Schnaider Beeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Family history of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with increased dementia-risk. Objective: The Israel Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention (IRAP) is a prospective longitudinal study of asymptomatic middle-aged offspring of AD patients (family history positive; FH+) and controls (whose parents have aged without dementia; FH-) aimed to unravel the contribution of midlife factors to future cognitive decline and dementia. Here we present the study design, methods, and baseline characteristics. Methods: Participants are members of the Maccabi Health Services, 40-65 years of age, with exquisitely detailed laboratory, medical diagnoses and medication data available in the Maccabi electronic medical records since 1998. Data collected through IRAP include genetic, sociodemographic, cognitive, brain imaging, lifestyle, and health-related characteristics at baseline and every three years thereafter. Results: Currently IRAP has 483 participants [mean age 54.95 (SD = 6.68) and 64.8% (n = 313) women], 379 (78.5%) FH+, and 104 (21.5%) FH-. Compared to FH-, FH+ participants were younger (p = 0.011), more often males (p = 0.003) and with a higher prevalence of the APOE E4 allele carriers (32.9% FH+, 22% FH-; p = 0.040). Adjusting for age, sex, and education, FH+ performed worse than FH-in global cognition (p = 0.027) and episodic memory (p = 0.022). Conclusion: Lower cognitive scores and higher rates of the APOE E4 allele carriers among the FH+ group suggest that FH ascertainment is good. The combination of long-term historical health-related data available through Maccabi with the multifactorial information collected through IRAP will potentially enable development of dementia-prevention strategies already in midlife, a critical period in terms of risk factor exposure and initiation of AD-neuropathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-788
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • APOE E4
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • family history
  • offspring
  • risk factors


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