International research consortia provide opportunities for researchers to share and compare data from existing studies, allowing systematic examination of brain ageing issues on a larger scale.
Researchers at CHeBA are studying the process of human ageing to determine the factors that influence the trajectory of healthy ageing and cause age-related diseases, including dementia. At CHeBA, we are taking this line of investigation to the next level by making it international.
CHeBA researchers are harnessing the power of international studies by bringing them into large consortia.
Many research groups from around the world have asked similar questions and established cohorts in their local area. Bringing these studies together into consortia not only provides large sample sizes necessary to address some of the questions, it also provides the ability to replicate the findings of one study in another in a different geographical and ethnic group, and also determine which risk and protective factors are truly universal.
CHeBA leads the following international consortia which contribute to The Dementia Momentum initiative:
CHeBA also leads the BrainInflame consortium and is a contributing member of the following international consortia:
COSMIC has continued to grow its membership and now comprises 27 studies (including three provisional members), with over 50,000 individuals from all six populated continents. New member studies have broadened the representation of ethnicities and geographical regions, which now includes Indonesia and India.
The first project, titled “The prevalence of Mild Cognitive Impairment in diverse geographical and ethnocultural regions: the COSMIC collaboration”, has been completed using baseline data from 11 studies. A poster of this study was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2014 in Copenhagen, and a paper is currently under a second round of review after revisions for PLOS One.
A second project is underway, with the aim of investigating age-related changes in neuropsychological test performance across a diverse range of cohorts. Regional and ethnic differences will be examined, and the effects of education investigated. Associations with risk factors, including APOE status, general health, psychiatric status, and vascular risk factors, will also be determined. Variables have been harmonised across 11 studies with longitudinal neuropsychological test data (representing both North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia), and analyses are in progress. Our intent is to publish a report of this study in a high impact journal.
ICC-Dementia now has 15 participating studies from Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania. The first protocol paper for publication was submitted recently. In the spirit of the consortium, this was a team effort with input and review from all ICC-Dementia collaborators leading to a successfully crafted paper. Governance guidelines have also been drawn up to increase the ease with which theoretical and data collaboration can occur. Plans for an interactive portal for collaborators are underway and the official ICC-Dementia website has been updated to provide relevant information to the public. Data has been received from seven participating studies and harmonisation of variables is under way in an effort to create normative data for centenarians around the world. Data from the remaining studies is expected to be provided the end of the month.
The number of studies included in STROKOG has grown quickly to 26, representing 17 countries across Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The total sample size is more than 10,000 participants. Membership is yet to be officially ratified, with a memorandum of understanding soon to be sent to all studies for signing.
A STROKOG website was established, and a methods paper is being drafted to describe and publicise the consortium (intended for submission to BMC Neurology).
A meeting of representatives from 17 STROKOG studies was held at the 2015 VAS-COG World Conference in Tokyo. This successful event afforded members an opportunity to present outlines of their studies. Administrative aspects of the consortium were also covered, including its organisation and Scientific Board, and a list of 10 globally important research topics for STROKOG to address discussed and settled upon. It is intended that the first of these topics be chosen very soon, and for work on this to begin shortly thereafter.