COSMIC Projects

CHeBA Consortia - COSMIC
Cohort Studies of Memory in an International Consortium: An international consortium to combine data from population-based longitudinal cohorts studies to identify common risk factors for dementia and cognitive decline.

Current Projects

Determinants of Cognitive Performance and Decline in Twenty Diverse Ethno-Regional Groups

  • Aims: To investigate and compare associations between various risk factors (including medical conditions, mental health, and lifestyle) and cognitive decline in diverse ethnocultural groups and geographic regions.
  • Leaders: CHeBA COSMIC team (Darren Lipnicki)
  • Contributing studies (20, from 15 countries): Bambui (Brazil), CFAS (UK), CHAS (Cuba), EAS (USA), ESPRIT (France), HELIAD (Greece), HK-MAPS (Hong Kong), Invece.Ab (Italy), KLOSCAD (South Korea), LEILA75+ (Germany), MAAS (The Netherlands), MoVIES (USA), PATH (Australia), SALSA (USA), SPAH (Brazil), SGS (Japan), SLASI (Singapore), Sydney MAS (Australia), Tajiri Project (Japan), ZARADEMP (Spain).
  • Follows on from Completed project #2; harmonisation of new member study data began in May 2017.
  • Focused investigations of associations between cognitive decline and each of body mass index, APOE4 status, and education are also being conducted.

Common and Unique Factors Associated with Odor Identification in Older Indonesian and White Australian Adults

  • Aims: To expand the limited literature on racial and ethno-regional differences or similarities in risk factors for olfactory impairment, by investigating demographic and health factors in two samples, one comprising Indonesians and the other white Australians. To also investigate and compared these groups on how olfactory ability is associated with general cognitive functioning and verbal ability.
  • Leaders: ACtive Aging Research (Atma Jaya Cognitive & Aging Research).
  • Contributing studies: ACtive Aging Research (Indonesia) and Sydney MAS (Australia).
  • Began April 2016.

MINDSED: The Effects of Sedentary Behavior on Cognitive Function and Cognitive Decline in Older Persons without Dementia.

  • Aims: To determine if total sedentary time per day and/or length of unbroken sitting time, is cross-sectionally and prospectively related to global cognition and neuropsychological test scores in older persons without dementia who are cognitively healthy or have MCI?
  • Leaders: Rene Melis (Radboud University, The Netherlands).
  • Contributing studies: HELIAD (Greece), PATH (Australia), SLAS2 (Singapore), SGS (Japan), SALSA (USA).
  • Began June 2017.

The Prevalence of Subjective Cognitive Decline Across and in Different Geographical and Ethno-Cultural Regions.

  • Aims: To establish the prevalence of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) in and across different geographical and ethno-cultural regions.
  • Leaders: Susanne Roehr (LEILA75+, Germany).
  • Contributing studies: ACtive Aging (Indonesia), CFAS (UK), EAS (USA), EPIDEMCA (Central African Republic and Republic of Congo), ESPRIT (France), Invece.Ab (Italy), KLOSCAD (Korea), LEILA75+ (Germany), LRGS TUA (Malaysia), MAAS (The Netherlands), MoVIES (USA), PATH (Australia), SGS (Japan), SLAS2 (Singapore), Sydney MAS (Australia), ZARADEMP (Spain).

Risk of Dementia Associated with Number of Births and Number of Children

  • Aims: To follow a previous project (Completed project #3) and investigate associations between number of births (particularly no births) and number of children with the risk of dementia. Data from over 10 international cohorts will be used.
  • Leaders: Jong Bin Bae (KLOSCAD, South Korea)
  • Began August 2018

Risk Factor Clustering And Incident Cognitive Decline

  • Will assess the presence of risk factor clusters (comprising variables such as smoking, low physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, excess alcohol consumption, midlife obesity, high blood pressure, midlife high cholesterol and diabetes and depression) in 20 community-based cohorts of elderly individuals.
  • If clusters are present, will evaluate the association of clusters with incident dementia/cognitive decline/change in cognitive functioning over follow up.
  • Leaders: Ruth Peters (NeuRA, UNSW)
  • Began August 2018

Depression in the Pre-Clinical Phase of AD: Trajectories And Determinants

  • Aims: (1) Characterise the trajectory of depressive symptoms within the pre-clinical period leading up to the diagnosis of AD, and determine its clinical correlates (notably cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, head trauma); (2) Assess the longitudinal association between depressive symptoms and cognitive decline taking into account findings from (1).
  • Leaders: Karen Ritchie (INSERM), Simone Reppermund (CHeBA, UNSW)
  • Data provision began October 2018

Completed Projects

The Prevalence of Mild Cognitive Impairment in Diverse Geographical and Ethnocultural Regions: The COSMIC Collaboration(2014)

Age-Related Cognitive Decline and Effects of Sex, Education and Apolipoprotein E Genotype in Diverse Ethno-Cultural and Geographical Regions Internationally (2016).

  • We used individual participant-level data to investigate rates of cognitive decline in 14 longitudinal population-based studies of cognitive aging, representing 12 countries and 5 continents. We also investigated the extent to which sex, education, and apolipoprotein E ε4 allele carrier status influenced cognitive performance and decline across these diverse ethno-cultural and geographic regions. Cognitive performance and decline was assessed using scores from the MMSE, and from tests of verbal memory, processing speed, language, and executive functioning.
  • Performance on all cognitive measures declined with age, and the rate of decline increased with advancing age. However, rates of decline were not the same in all countries and ethnic groups. Higher levels of education slowed the rate of decline on the MMSE, suggesting that higher education could protect against or delay the onset of dementia.
  • Published in PLoS Med 14(3): e1002261 (PDF).

Differential Effects of Completed and Incomplete Pregnancies on the Risk of Alzheimer Disease (2018)

  • Investigated the effects of completed pregnancy with childbirth and incomplete pregnancy without childbirth on late-life cognition and risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) in women. Used the pooled data of 3,549 women provided by 2 population-based cohort studies from South Korea and Greece.
  • Women who experienced ≥5 completed pregnancies showed an ≈1.7-fold higher risk of AD than those who experienced 1 to 4 completed pregnancies, while those who had incomplete pregnancies showed half the level of AD risk compared with those who never experienced an incomplete pregnancy.
  • Published in Neurology. 2018 Aug 14;91(7):e643-e651.

Visual Memory Tests Enhance the Identification of Amnestic MCI Cases at Greater Risk of Alzheimer’S Disease (2018)

  • Investigated whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and if the risk differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests. Used data from 4,771 participants from five community-based studies (USA, Greece, Italy, South Korea, and Australia).
  • While verbal aMCI was most common, significant proportions had visual only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared to verbal aMCI, the risk of AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
  • Accepted for publication by International Psychogeriatrics.