There are many risk and protective factors that affect how cognitive abilities change in later life. OxDARE researchers are currently exploring the connection between heart and brain health, as well as the impact of insulin resistance, amongst others. As mechanisms are identified, drug and lifestyle interventions can be developed and studied. For a short explanation of the process of drug development, see page 3 of the Summer 2020 OxDARE newsletter.
► Cognitive Health in Ageing
Program of research using repeated brain scanning and cognitive testing to track cognitive skills in a cohort of older adults that completed a computer-based or exercise intervention aiming to improve cognitive skills and brain health.
Led by: Kia Nobre
Find out more: https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/research/the-brain-cognition-lab
► Heart Brain Study
Using MRI brain scanning to investigate the link between cardiovascular health and brain health, to increase understanding of heart health as a modifiable lifestyle influence on cognitive decline and dementia risk.
Led by: Sana Suri
Find out more: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/research/our-research/research-projects/heart-brain-link-how-heart-disease-increases-risk-dementia
► Systematic review: diet and metabolism on brain structure and function
Systematic review of the evidence for an association of diet and metabolism with brain structure and activity, to investigate diet and metabolism’s role in cognitive ageing and dementia risk.
Led by: Sana Suri, Daria Jensen
► Aortic stiffening and brain structure in older adults
Investigating the impact of aortic stiffening on brain structure and activity, to understand cardiovascular health as a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.
Led by: Sana Suri
Find out more: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2021-01-05-healthy-heart-may-help-delay-or-prevent-dementia
Study in people at-risk for dementia testing the effects of a diabetes medication on abnormal build-up of proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Led by: Ivan Koychev
► European Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (EPAD)
An international study across several European countries aiming to better understand the factors that lead to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia, and to more rapidly develop new treatments which may prevent Alzheimer’s dementia.
Led by: Vanessa Raymont, Craig Ritchie
Find out more: http://ep-ad.org/
► Retirement in Action (REACT) study
The Retirement in Action (REACT) MRI sub-study examined the effect of a randomised controlled-trial of a 12-month physical activity intervention on the brain structure and function of older adults.
Led by: Afroditi Stathi, Heidi Johansen-Berg, Claire Sexton, Naiara Demnitz
Find out more: https://www.bath.ac.uk/projects/retirement-in-action-react-study/
► Life after Stroke (OX-CHRONIC)
Stroke Association-funded project into long-term psychological consequences post-stroke, collecting neuropsychology and mood measures over 3 years from 200 stroke survivors at least 2 years post-stroke to better understand the nature of long-term changes after stroke, particularly subtle and often missed problems a stroke survivor may experience.
Led by: Nele Demeyere
Find out more: http://www.demeyerelab.org/?page_id=432
► Lifebrain: Are people ready to endorse personalised brain health?
Investigating the interests of the general public in maintaining a healthy brain and attitudes towards a personalised approach to brain health amongst adult participants in brain research studies.
Led by: Sana Suri, Kristine Walhovd
Find out more: https://www.lifebrain.uio.no/about/
► Microglial CSF1R in Alzheimer’s disease (MICAD)
Investigating how well a new drug affects a type of brain cell called microglia, which are involved in the central nervous system’s immune defence. Reducing the number of microglial cells may be beneficial in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Led by: Vanessa Raymont
Find out more: https://www.phc.ox.ac.uk/phctrials/trial-portfolio/micad-microglial-csf1r-in-alzheimers-disease