Brain Ageing
Study Code:BA
Start Date:Apr.2007
Status:In progress
Contact:Natalie Garden
More Info:QIMR only

Overview Introduction The rapid ageing of the population underscores the importance of identifying modifiable risk factors associated with both physical and cognitive ageing. Although some risk factors are established for dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), many issues such as the propensity for onset of symptoms later in life remain poorly understood. Research has identified Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) as a precursor to AD in some individuals, yet the reasons for progression or non-progression are poorly understood. Furthermore, the genetic (G), environmental (E) and the nature of (G) x (E) interactions remain to be discovered. In addition, little is known about the determinants of ageing without cognitive impairment. In conducting a twin study of ageing, we aim to improve the understanding of the factors associated with cognitive preservation or decline in later life and to examine the neuropsychological and neuroanatomical correlates of these processes. The study of elderly twins (aged 65-90 years) and their siblings offers a powerful method of examining the genetic influences on brain degeneration. For example, our study will allow the examination of monozygotic twins (MZ) discordant for MCI, thus allowing us to fully evaluate the contribution of environmental factors on cognitive function and markers of brain pathology.