23 NOV 2021

Prof. Vincent Mok received The 10th Anniversary of the Health and Medical Research Fund, Food and Health Bureau, The Government of the HKSAR

The 10th Anniversary Award of the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) acknowledged the high impact of Prof. Vincent Mok’s research projects that were supported by HMRF in Dementia Prevention over the past decade. Prof. Vincent Mok (PI) was the first in the world in utilizing in vivo amyloid positron emission tomography in understanding how subclinical amyloid plaques contribute to cognitive decline after stroke (HMRF 0708041, 2010). He found that even a minor vascular insult (e.g., transient ischemic attack) can trigger the onset of acute cognitive decline in subjects harbouring significant amyloid plaques. He also found that apart from amyloid plaques, cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) also increased the risk of early and delayed onset cognitive decline after stroke. Overall, an important strategy of preventing cognitive decline in older people is to identify Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and SVD at the pre-dementia stage and to intervene at this early stage.

Award presented by Secretary for Food and Health, Prof. Sophia Chan

In collaboration with Dr. Adrian Wong, Prof. Vincent Mok (PI) translated and validated the Hong Kong Montreal Cognitive Assessment (HK-MoCA) and developed cutoff scores according to age and education level of Hong Kong older people (HMRF 06070231, 2008). HK-MoCA is particularly useful in the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) associated with both AD and other subcortical types of cognitive disorders (e.g., SVD, Parkinson’s disease). HK-MoCA has become the official cognitive screening test in Hong Kong over the past decade.

In collaboration with Dr. Shi Lin and Dr. Ho Ko, Prof. Vincent Mok (Co-I) is validating a machine learning-derived MRI-based biomarker (AD-Resemblance Atrophy Index, AD-RAI) for aiding the diagnosis of early AD (HMRF 08190666, 2021). To date, this is the first machine learning-derived MRI based biomarker that can be readily applied in day-to-day clinical settings. In collaboration with Dr.Carol Cheung, Prof. Vincent Mok (Co-I) is also validating a machine-learning derived retinal imaging analysis for AD (HMRF 04153506, 2017). In another project, Prof. Mok (PI) showed that pulsatility index derived from transcranial doppler was not useful in the detection of subclinical SVD in the community (HMRF 09100131, 2011).

In collaboration with Dr. Adrian Wong and Dr. Bonnie Lam, Prof. Vincent Mok (Co-I) had completed a clinical trial showing that aerobic dance training is possibly able to slow cognitive decline in older people harbouring subclinical SVD (HMRF 03140936, 2016).

Highlights of the Food and Health's Health Research Symposium