The Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) at UNSW Sydney is a world leader in bringing together multiple studies from around the world to further develop the epidemiology of dementia, deal with the global inequity in such research, and expedite outcomes for dementia on the international stage. Dementia has been referred to as the next pandemic that has already begun, with 50 million families affected worldwide and a cost to the global economy of $1.3 trillion in 2020. The best hope we have that will reduce its incidence and/or delay its onset is through intervention on modifiable risk factors.
The Cohort Studies of Memory in an International Consortium (COSMIC) is a CHeBA-led consortia that is a global effort toward this goal and has been awarded US$7,270,286 over 5 years (2023-2028) from the National Institutes of Health, USA.
Co-Director of CHeBA, Professor Perminder Sachdev AM said “CHeBA is perfectly positioned to achieve major goals set by the World Health Assembly’s Global Action Plan on the public health response to dementia, including evidence-based practice for dementia risk reduction, early and appropriate diagnosis, and global equity in research.”
"This funding will allow us to harness the power of our unique consortium to map globally the 12 modifiable risk factors of dementia identified by the 2020 Lancet Commission, document the diverse epidemiology of dementia internationally, and better understand ethnic differences in the genetics and biomarkers for dementia." Professor Perminder Sachdev
Announced by the National Institute on Aging, the grant will allow the expansion of CHeBA’s international research collaboration within COSMIC, specifically to study novel risk and resilience factors such as the built and economic environments, air pollution, sleep, nutrition, social health – including social activity and network size, quality of social engagement and loneliness - and frailty. Over a five-year period, the incidence of Mild Cognitive Impairment and dementia will be documented in diverse regions and risk models for dementia in specific populations developed. The team will also map the risk and protective factors for dementia and estimate their burden around the world, with an emphasis on under-represented populations so that population-specific risk indices for dementia can be developed to aid the global campaign to prevent dementia.
The grant funding will also support the examination of cerebrovascular disease and vascular risk factors by harmonising neuroimaging biomarkers, and study genetic markers in non-European populations, as well as investigate the potential of plasma biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in diverse populations.
It will also support further development of the Dementias Platform Australia (DPAU) in partnership with the DPUK.
COSMIC currently has 54 member studies from 39 nations, including 35 studies from low- and middle-income countries. With its global reach, open sharing of data and diverse network of researchers, COSMIC is creating a truly global epidemiology of dementia that is needed to meet the ambitious goals of the World Health Assembly.
"The funding would allow a lasting impact on the epidemiology of cognitive ageing and dementia." Professor Perminder Sachdev
The collaborative team on this grant includes the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC), Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI), Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
National Institute On Aging, National Institutes of Health Award Number R01AG057531