Given the increasing recognition of inflammation being involved in neuronal dysfunction and thereby cognitive decline and depression, further research focusing on inflammation and immune dysfunction in human studies is required. Evidence is accumulating that ageing is associated with enhanced systemic and brain inflammation, which is probably linked to vascular damage, metabolic derangement and neuronal dysfunction, which manifest as, among others, white matter hyperintensities, and volumetric and functional brain changes on brain imaging. The study of risk and protective factors for inflammation, and the underlying molecular and neuronal mechanisms in relation to brain health, is an important objective of neuroscience research internationally.
The best approach to study this is by population-based as well as clinical cohort studies that collect data on inflammation (genes, protein levels, gene expression) as well as phenotypic data on cognitive function, mood status and brain imaging. A growing number of such studies are ongoing internationally. Due to the complexity of the interrelationship between inflammation and brain function and the methodological heterogeneity of existing studies, we aim to conduct meta-analyses and to pool and harmonise larger-scale studies for further systematic examination with increased power. The BrainInflame during Aging Consortium is the first of its kind to focus on inflammation related to brain function and it is hoped to make this a truly international effort, with studies from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.
A research Steering Committee consisting of representatives of each study oversees the analyses conducted and will provide input into studies. The consortium will stimulate the establishment of workgroups on specific topics of interests. Criteria for publication are outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding.
Should you have any question about the Consortium and/or be interested in participating in the International Consortium BrainInflame during Aging, please contact the Consortium leads Bernhard Baune or Perminder Sachdev.
Team BrainInflame in Sydney and Adelaide