About AGEDEP (Ageing and Depression) Consortium
Depression in old age is a common, disabling, and costly mental health condition. While the prevalence rate of major depression (MD) is higher in younger adults, the presence of subclinical depressive symptoms that have a significant impact on functioning and quality of life, are higher in older adults. The aetiology and pathophysiology of late-life depression (LLD) and differences between early-onset and late-onset depression are not well understood. Given the increasing ageing population, it is crucial to understand the disorder and its implications in more detail to advance treatment and preventative strategies. Currently many research strategies focus on specific aspects, such as genomics or lifestyle factors. The international AGEDEP consortium pools relevant data to investigate the underlying aetiology and pathophysiology of LLD, with a focus on late-onset depression. We include studies with data collected across one or more of the domains including genomic, epigenomic, biomarkers, and environmental and psychosocial determinants in LLD, to facilitate a unified effort to uncover the genomic, biological, psychological and environmental determinants and their interactions.
To build an international network of population studies on geriatric depression to: i) pool whole genome data to conduct analyses with sufficient power (increase reliability and validity of GWAS findings); ii) identify environmental risk factors, and iii) examine gene-environment interactions. A specific aim of this consortium, that differentiates from broader depression genetics consortia, is that we aim to target older-age onset depression (onset at the age of 50 or above).
National and international studies are invited to join the consortium. Interested study groups will be asked to provide information via an online survey relating to cohort collection, size, and data currently available. This will facilitate the identification of cohorts for inclusion in planned analyses and enable harmonisation of pooled data. Our analyses will be within two main streams: 1) we will perform joint or mega-analyses using combined, harmonised datasets that yield collated results with enhanced statistical power, in addition to comparisons across geographical regions, ethnicities and sociocultural groups; 2) we will use genetically sensitive methods to help establish evidence for causality for identified biological, psychological, and environmental risk factors.
Outcomes and Significance
The consortium will address the global unmet health priority of understanding the aetiology of LLD through collaboration, innovation and partnership. By pooling data and knowledge, we will shed light on the aetiology and pathophysiology of LLD and will contribute to the knowledge base for the development of prevention and treatment strategies.
- Scientia Professor Perminder Sachdev, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)
- Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)
- Dr Simone Reppermund, Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry & Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)
- Dr Sarah Cohen-Woods, Flinders Fellow, Flinders Medical Centre
- Scientia Professor Helen Christensen, Director and Chief Scientist, Black Dog Institute
- Dr Karen Mather, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) & Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)
- Professor Julian Trollor, Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry & Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)