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Approved research

Linking psychological well-being measures to brain and health biomarkers to understand aging and risk of dementia

Principal Investigator: Professor Antonio Terracciano
Approved Research ID: 57672
Approval date: May 29th 2020

Lay summary

There is growing evidence that psychological well-being is related to aging and risk of dementia. The aim of this 3-year project is to better understand the relations between biomedical factors and psychological traits that play a crucial role in the health and well-being of older adults. We will examine whether biomarkers (e.g., lipids), physical measures and health status (e.g., hearing loss, obesity, and lung function), brain scan parameters (e.g., brain volume), cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and behaviors (e.g., drinking and physical activity) are associated with measures of well-being and distress (e.g., neuroticism, loneliness, and meaning). In addition, we aim to examine whether measures of well-being and distress predict the risk of poor health outcomes, particularly the risk of incident mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Furthermore, we will test whether measures of well-being are more influential in older or younger adults, female or male, and in groups with different socioeconomic conditions. The proposed analyses will have a public health impact by increasing knowledge on the factors that contribute to quality of life in middle aged and older adults. We will focus on potentially modifiable factors that could be targeted for interventions to improve quality of life and resilience against common diseases.