by Heidi Mitchell and Kate Crosbie
The 22nd Meeting of the International Consortium for Cententarian (ICC) Studies held from June 15-19 in Portugal gave CHeBA researchers the opportunity to meet with collaborators and gain expert input on the progress of ICC-Dementia.
Formed in 2012 and led by CHeBA (the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing), ICC-Dementia brings together international studies to apply standard diagnostic criteria for dementia in centenarian cohorts. This ‘big data’ approach will also allow the group to identify common risk and protective factors and biomarkers for dementia, as well as factors for successful brain ageing in late life.
ICC-Dementia findings were presented to the ICC Meeting for the first time. ICC-Dementia Study Coordinator, CHeBA’s Catriona Daly, said it was an exciting experience to engage with leaders in the field of centenarian research.
“We presented on the harmonisation procedures used to combine data from around the world, our proposal for determining the presence of dementia in a large, varied group, and initial prevalence estimates of dementia in the ICC-Dementia sample,” said Ms Daly.
“We received invaluable comments from the ICC brains trust, who provided useful feedback on our methodology and possible future directions for ICC Dementia.”
This input will be used for the second paper by ICC-Dementia, currently in preparation for submission, examining the international prevalence of dementia. ICC-Dementia published its first article outlining the methodology of the consortium in the April issue of peer-reviewed journal BMC Neurology.
Twelve members of ICC-Dementia attended the conference. They participated in two small interest group meetings to discuss analysis strategies, future publications and further collaboration opportunities. CHeBA Co-Directors, Professors Henry Brodaty and Perminder Sachdev, attended by Skype.
The conference included two days of presentations covering a broad spectrum of issues related to centenarians, including cognitive functioning, wellbeing and exercise in the oldest old, as well as a number of workshops. Ms Daly attended a workshop on a new statistical procedure for indexing dementia severity.
“It was a very collaborative atmosphere with attendees discussing their interests, triumphs and difficulties in the field of centenarian research,” said Ms Daly.
“Personally, it was also exciting to have conversations with researchers whose work I had read avidly since joining ICC-Dementia.”
Ms Daly said that there were also some light-hearted moments.
“It was really nice to hear anecdotal stories about people’s research, including a Portuguese researcher who recounted being chased around the kitchen table by an infatuated centenarian participant.”
ICC-Dementia is one of four international consortia led by CHeBA whose findings inform The Dementia Momentum.