The core aims of the VCD-CRE are to:
- bring together leading researchers in the fields of cerebrovascular disease and dementia, nationally and internationally;
- address the most important issues relating to the analytical epidemiology of Vascular Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID), its robust biomarkers, and its treatment and prevention, so as to reduce its overall health burden; and
- place VCID research at the forefront of dementia research alongside that of Alzheimer’s disease.
The work of the VCD-CRE can be divided into the following areas:
1-Diagnostic criteria for VCID
Aim: To update the existing diagnostic criteria for vascular cognitive disorders (the VASCOG criteria) for clinical and research application; to harmonise the neurocognitive assessment batteries for VCID and to validate computerised and online neuropsychological batteries.
2- Analytical epidemiology of VCID: expansion of the STROKOG consortium
Aim: To identify risk and protective factors for VCID across geographical regions and ethnic groups to enable intervention for the prevention of VCID; to harness current and future cohorts and trials focused on vascular risk factors by including cognitive measures.
Method: We are harnessing the efforts of the international STROKOG consortium, which was established by CHeBA’s co-director Prof Perminder Sachdev in 2016. Originally a consortium of longitudinal studies of cognitive impairment and dementia following stroke, TIA or SVD, STROKOG is expanding to include studies that examined participants with high vascular risks as well as intervention trials that have cardiovascular disease, stroke, or other vascular disease as the primary outcome. See the STROKOG website for more information.
3-Biomarkers of VCID
Aim: To identify, validate and demonstrate the research and clinical utility of biomarkers of VCID, especially small vessel disease contributing to cognitive impairment and dementia and to facilitate the adoption of biomarkers for diagnosis in clinical practice and research, and as outcome measures in intervention studies.
4- International consortium for Genetics of VCID
Aim: To identify the genetic underpinnings of SVD and VCID using large-scale collaborative genome wide association studies (GWAS) and/or whole genome sequencing (WGS) and to identify families with monogenic forms of VCID as models for the study of clinical manifestations and pathomechanisms of VCID.
5- Interventions for the prevention and treatment of VCID
Aim: To develop novel strategies for the prevention of: 1) cognitive decline in individuals with or at risk of cerebrovascular disease; and 2) cerebrovascular disease, and thereby VCID.