A groundbreaking risk assessment tool for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by researchers from the University of New South Wales Sydney.

Over 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia. In Australia, it is estimated up to 490,000 people are currently living with dementia – however this number can be far greater. Research has identified many risk factors associated with dementia. Whilst some of these risk factors (e.g. age, genetics, family history) are not modifiable, many other risk factors are modifiable (e.g. physical activity, diet, tobacco use, alcohol use).

The Assessment for Cognitive Health and Dementia Risk Reduction or “CogDrisk” tool will include the largest number of modifiable risk factors for dementia of any existing dementia risk tool. The purpose of this tool will be to identify risk factors and monitor risk reduction efforts in both high and low resource settings.

Professor Kaarin Anstey – Director of the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute and Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Neuroscience Research Australia – is leading the development of the CogDrisk tool.

“Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and death in Australia and worldwide. However there are certain steps and lifestyle changes an individual can take to reduce the risk of developing dementia in later life,” says Professor Anstey.

“The CogDrisk tool will be available online to the public, researchers and clinicians. Individuals aged 18 years and above can take the assessment to assess their risk of developing dementia, get a risk profile, and recommendations to reduce their risk of developing dementia.”

Other team members involved in the study include researchers (Dr Scherazad Kootar, Dr Hamidul Huque, Dr Ranmalee Eramudugolla and A/Prof Ruth Peters) with expertise in ageing, psychology and biostatistics. 

The CogDrisk website is expected to launch in the second half of 2022.

More information about the CogDrisk tool can be found here.