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Approved Research

To develop and validate a comprehensive risk index using a blood biomarker risk index, a genetic risk score and self-reported modifiable risk factors to predict cognitive decline and dementia.

Principal Investigator: Dr Scherazad Kootar
Approved Research ID: 80675
Approval date: August 9th 2022

Lay summary

Early detection of risk factors for cognitive decline and memory impairment is crucial to reduce the dementia burden. Existing dementia risk tools identify high-risk individuals by measuring self-reported modifiable risk factors. These tools, however, rely on age as the driving factor for discriminative ability, with marginal contributions from modifiable risk factors. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop new risk scores that account for factors like blood biomarkers and genetic risk scores to improve the discriminative ability to predict dementia. This research aims to build a comprehensive risk profile by firstly developing and validating a blood-based biomarker risk index (BBRI) for cognitive decline and dementia. Secondly, a genetic risk score for AD (AD-GRS) and cognitive delcine will be developed using evidence from the latest genome-wide studies. The BBRI and the AD-GRS will be compared against the available dementia risk index (ANU-ADRI) and combined to revaluate whether combining the three indices would increase the prediction of dementia. The risk profile could potentially increase the accuracy of identifying high-risk individuals and measure risk reduction efforts. It could be used to observe the effect of an intervention of a dementia prevention trial and for tailored brain health assessment and prevention and for the implementation of personalised medicine.