Will we all get dementia if we live long enough? ICC-Dementia may have the answer.
Ageing and dementia are inextricably linked, with the risk of dementia rising rapidly after 65 years of age. However, not all people develop dementia and some are able to postpone its development until extremely late in life. Estimates for dementia prevalence in the “oldest-old” age group, variously described as comprising nonagenarians, centenarians, semi-super centenarians and super centenarians vary widely. Consistent risk and protective factors for dementia at the extreme end of life have yet to be identified.
The International Centenarian Consortium of Dementia (ICC-Dementia) is interested in studying those at the extreme end of life. ICC-Dementia was formulated in 2012 and is comprised of eighteen different centenarian and near-centenarian studies from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. ICC-Dementia seeks to harmonise data from these studies internationally to describe the cognitive and functional profiles of the exceptionally old individuals. The bringing together of such diverse ethnoracial and sociocultural studies allows us to explore systematically the factors for dementia and longevity, as well as provides real-life models of healthy brain ageing. We anticipate that this will provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of dementia and point to possible ways of escaping or delaying the onset of common dementias until extremely late in life.
Aims and Objectives
- To enable the comparison of data collected by worldwide centenarian studies of brain ageing.
- To validate the diagnosis of dementia by applying common diagnostic criteria and examining the rate of cognitive decline in those cohorts in which longitudinal data are available. Further validation will be carried out using neuroimaging and neuropathology.
- To examine and compare cross-nationally risk and protective factors for dementia at the extreme end of life.
- To identify factors that predict successful brain ageing into the 11th decade of life that are robust across cohorts. This will spearhead an international effort to promote successful brain ageing.
Co-Director, CHeBA (Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing), UNSW Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow, CHeBA (Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing), UNSW Medicine