FACEHBI - Fundació ACE Healthy Brain Initiative

Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Clínica Corachan, Grifols, Piramal & Araclon Biotech

FACEHBI studies the subjective memory complaints of 200 people without cognitive impairment, despite they notice memory loss.

Fundación ACE Healthy Brain Initiative (FACEHBI) seeks to determine the relationship of subjective memory complaints as a risk factor in Alzheimer's disease. The research consists of carrying out a medical follow-up every year on 200 people over 50 who are clinically healthy but perceive memory loss.

Fundació ACE has renewed the project for three more years, that it was launched in 2014, making it one of the most complete studies of its kind to date. 

The 200 participants in FACEHBI carry out very exhaustive medical tests each year, including a neurological and neuropsychological exploration, a magnetic resonance and a blood biomarker test. 

In addition to these tests, recognized biomarkers that detect amyloid protein are added, such as PET or Tau protein analysis, among others. Another promising new line of research that has been initiated in recent years is that related to intestinal bacterial flora and its influence on neurodegeneration. 

A successful development

FACEHBI has developed successfully so far. Recruitment of the 200 participants was completed in only 15 months and the adherence rate, after four years of follow-up, is above 80%. In addition, there were no unforeseen or adverse circumstances related to the procedures of the study, and both the methodology of the analysis and the baseline data of the participants have already been published in prestigious scientific journals with a high impact factor.  

FACEHBI, approved by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and the Ethics Committee of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, is based on the desire to know what physiopathological changes occur in the person who goes from being clinically healthy to being diagnosed with cognitive impairment. All this will be made possible with comparative monitoring between people who, throughout the study, have developed Alzheimer's and those who have not.

Acting in the initial phases, before the diagnosis of dementia, could be key to developing medications that allow later action on the disease. 

Data sheet

Start date


End date


Sponsors / funders

Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona, Grifols, Piramal & Araclon Biotech


1.650.000 €

Project leader at Fundació ACE

Dr. Mercè Boada, co-founding member and Chief Medical Officer


Ace Alzheimer Center Barcelona Research Team, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and Clínica Corachan

Links of interest

Scientific publications

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 Alz Dis 2017;4(2):100-108. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2016.122.
O Rodríguez-Gómez, A Sanabria, C Abdelnour, S Valero, I Hernandez, M Rosende-Roca, A Mauleon, L Vargas, M Alegret, A Espinosa, G Ortega, M Guitart, A Gailhajanet, S Moreno-Grau, E Peleja, A Ruiz, L Tarraga, M Boada et al.

Exploring APOE genotype effects on Alzheimer's disease risk and amyloid β burden in individuals with subjective cognitive decline: The FundacioACE Healthy Brain Initiative (FACEHBI) study baseline results. 
Alzheimer's & Dementia. Volume 14, Issue 5, May 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2017.10.005.
Agustín Ruiz, Mercè Boada, Lluís Tarraga et al. for the FACEHBI study group.

Correlations between plasma and PET beta-amyloid levels in individuals with subjective cognitive decline: the Fundació ACE Healthy Brain Initiative (FACEHBI). 
Alz Res Therapy 10, 119 (2018). doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13195-018-0444-1.
Itziar de Rojas, O. Rodríguez-Gomez, A. Sanabria, C. Abdelnour, L. Tárraga, A. Ruiz, M. Boada et al.on behalf of the FACEHBI study.

Personality Factors and Subjective Cognitive Decline: The FACEHBI Cohort. 
Behav Neurol. 2020 Feb 19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/5232184.
Sergi Valero, Octavio Rodríguez-Gómez, Angela Sanabria, Isabel Hernández, Marta Marquié, Alba Benaque, Agustín Ruiz et al.

Combination of white matter hyperintensities and Aβ burden is related to cognitive composites domain scores in subjective cognitive decline: the FACEHBI cohort.
Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. 2021 Aug 17. doi: 10.1186/s13195-021-00877-6
G. Ortega, A. Espinosa, M. Alegret, GC. Monté-Rubio, O. Sotolongo-Grau, A. Sanabria, JP. Tartari, O. Rodríguez-Gómez, M. Marquié, E. Alarcón-Martín, A. Pérez-Cordón, N. Roberto, I. Hernández, M. Rosende-Roca, L. Vargas, A. Mauleón, C. Abdelnour, E. Esteban De Antonio, R. Lóopez-Cuevas, S. Alonso-Lana, S. Moreno-Grau, I. de Rojas, A. Orellana, L. Montrreal, L. Tárraga, A. Ruiz, M. Boada, S. Valero et al.

Clinical performance of an antibody‑free assay for plasma Aβ42/Aβ40 to detect early alterations of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals with subjective cognitive decline.
Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy. January 5, 2023;15(2) doi: 10.1186/s13195-022-01143-z
Juan Pablo Tartari, Ángela Sanabria, Lluís Tárraga, Agustín Ruíz, Marta Marquié, Mercè Boada et.al. on behalf of the FACEHBI study group.