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Approved research

Constructing risk scores of longevity, dementia, and related disorders

Principal Investigator: Dr Bruno Bonnechère
Approved Research ID: 54520
Approval date: February 4th 2020

Lay summary

In the context of global aging of the population, preventing non-communicable diseases - also referred to chronic diseases - is a major public health care challenge. Therefore, preventive medicine is gaining in interest. Over the last decade, enormous progress and advances have been achieved in the field of genetic research. These researches, coupled with other studies on non-genetic risk factors (i.e. lifestyle related factors), have led to the identification of high risk group of subjects. Thanks to targeted preventive campaigns and the modification of some risk factors, the incidence of most of chronic diseases has decreased in developed countries. However, major efforts still need to be made in order to better understand how the identified risk factors of one particular disease could influence the development of other diseases and/or affect longevity. For instance, patients with stroke and vascular disease show an increased cognitive decline and present an increased risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Here we aim to improve the risk scores by also including non-genetic risk factors including lifestyle related factors (e.g. education level, alcohol consumption, smoking history, history of hypertension, dyslipidemia, physical activity, body mass index (BMI)), or concomitant pathologies such as stroke, cardiovascular disease or chronic respiratory disease. Another important question to weigh in is the life expectancy of the individuals, both overall and in those at high risk of the disease under study. The aim of this study is to construct lifetime risks for mortality and major late-onset disorders including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiometabolic and cerebrovascular diseases and respiratory diseases using genetic and non-genetic risk factors. We will study single disorders as well as comorbidity. This project is expected to run over the course of 6 months. In the context of global aging prevention of age related disorders such as dementia and cognitive impairment, depression has also been identified by the World Health Organization as a top priority. Insight into the lifetime risk of these disorders and the identification of high risk groups - genetic and non-genetic - is a of high urgency and will have a great impact on public health.