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Approved research

Modeling Brain Connectivity in Relation to Cognitive Decline

Principal Investigator: Professor Elliot Tucker-Drob
Approved Research ID: 36046
Approval date: November 26th 2018

Lay summary

Our aim is to identify neurodegenerative processes that underlie cognitive aging. This project will examine how age-related differences in networks of physical connections between brain regions relate to age-related differences in cognitive performance and test the role of health, social, and genetic factors in these associations. Normal-range variation in cognitive aging is a predictor of clinically-relevant cognitive impairment and dementia. Aging-related cognitive declines are associated with limitations in self-care and functional independence, deteriorating health, and shortened life expectancy. Identifying and understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive aging is key to developing interventions to prevent such decline, and reduce rates of dementia. We will look at neuroimaging data to identify characteristics of brain function and structure that relate to cognitive function. We are especially interested in identifying patterns of disruption in specific networks of brain connections that have been identified in previous research in healthy adults. We will apply new methods for characterizing brain networks using advanced mathematical techniques. We are requesting use of the full cohort.