CUHK and The Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer’s disease launch new community dementia screening service to identify and prevent Alzheimer’s
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in partnership with The Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease (Charles K. Kao Foundation), is launching the Charles Kao CUHK BEAT AD Service (Brain HEAlth Service for PrevenTion of Alzheimer’s Disease) (the Service), which aims to provide free, comprehensive, community-based Alzheimer’s disease screening to Hong Kong residents. With a generous donation from Dr Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia, BEAT AD Patron and Ambassador, the Service will identify elderly individuals who have early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease or are at risk of the disease, and implement tailor-made preventive measures.
An opening ceremony at CUHK today (September 21) inaugurated the service. Officiating guests included Dr Pang Fei-chau, Commissioner for Primary Healthcare, Health Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Dr Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia; Mrs Gwen Kao, Chairman of The Charles K. Kao Foundation; Dr Chiu Ha-ying, Governor and Executive Committee Member of The Charles K. Kao Foundation, and Co-Director of the Service; Professor Alan K.L. Chan, Acting Vice-Chancellor and President and J.S. Lee Professor of Chinese Culture at CUHK; and Professor Vincent Mok, Co-Director of the Service, and Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, CU Medicine.
Alzheimer’s disease poses huge burden to the rapidly ageing Hong Kong society
Dr Pang Fei-chau, Commissioner for Primary Healthcare, Health Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, stated at the ceremony, “Like many other places, Hong Kong is facing major challenges brought on by a rapidly ageing population and an increase in the prevalence of chronic neurological diseases. With the government introducing the Primary Healthcare Blueprint to shift the emphasis of the healthcare system to a prevention-focused, community-based system, the government is actively engaging all sectors to develop comprehensive, sustainable, people-centric primary healthcare services in the community.”
Dr Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia, BEAT AD Patron and Ambassador, remarked, “Hong Kong enjoys the world’s longest life expectancy, with the associated problems that such an aging population poses. I hope the Service can identify elderly individuals with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease and benefit the well-being of patients, families and the community.”
Professor Alan K.L. Chan, Acting Vice-Chancellor and President and J.S. Lee Professor of Chinese Culture at CUHK, expressed his gratitude to both the Foundation and Dr Lin. He said, “Given the urgent need to tackle age-related brain diseases in our rapidly ageing society, the launch of this Service is very timely. We believe it will make early Alzheimer’s disease identification and intervention possible, providing a great opportunity to reduce the burden.”
Mrs Gwen Kao, Chairman of The Charles K. Kao Foundation, said, “We are excited to introduce The Charles Kao CUHK BEAT AD Service, empowering people in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease through early screening and evidence-based prevention strategies. This community-based health service exemplifies our mission to promote brain health and reduce the prevalence of dementia in Hong Kong.”
Free brain health screening to identify Alzheimer’s disease early
The Service will provide free Alzheimer’s disease screening to adults aged 60-80 in Hong Kong. It aims to mitigate the growing burden of dementia by detecting Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage and slowing progression through positive lifestyle changes and vascular risk management.
Professor Vincent Mok Chung-tong, Co-Director of the Service, Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine at CUHK, stated, “Many factors that cause irreversible brain health decline and Alzheimer’s disease are potentially modifiable. Leveraging CUHK’s expertise in dementia research and clinical care, we have developed an innovative model tailored for the local community. We believe this prevention approach can create tremendous social impact by enabling early diagnosis and intervention.”
Dr Chiu Ha-ying, Governor and Executive Committee Member of The Charles K. Kao Foundation, and Co-Director of the Service, concluded, “The Foundation is thankful for the opportunity to work with CUHK and our many supporters on this exciting project. The collaboration brings together experts with varying experience and differing perspectives, creating a service that we believe will be of marked significance in our battle against dementia.”
21 September is World Alzheimer’s Day, and the team hopes to raise public awareness of the disease and associated risk factors. Starting from today, members of the public can complete an online cognitive screening questionnaire. Residents who are interested in the Service can register online at https://neurology.mect.cuhk.edu.hk/beatad/. (Please refer to appendix “About The Charles Kao CUHK BEAT AD Service” for details.)