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.
► Systematic review: diet and metabolism on brain structure and function
► 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.
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.
► 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.
► 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.
► Lifebrain: Are people ready to endorse personalised brain health?
► 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.