CHeBA Longitudinal Studies

CHeBA Research Project: Sydney Memory and Ageing Study
The Sydney Memory and Ageing Study (MAS) investigates rates and predictors of health and cognitive decline in older adults. MAS is especially interested in when/why normally functioning adults who show evidence of memory or cognitive decline either progress to dementia or improve.
Description The Sydney Memory and Ageing Study (MAS), is a longitudinal study which began in 2005. The study aims to determine the effects of ageing on cognition over time and what predicts and what protects against cognitive decline and dementia. MAS is one of the largest longitudinal studies of this kind in Australia and has resulted in more than 120 scientific publications and many national and international collaborations. Read the latest blog post Participate in a CHeBA study Read the latest publication Design and Method At the baseline assessment from 2005 to 2007, 1037 non-demented individuals aged 70-90 were recruited from two areas of Sydney, following a random approach to 8914 individuals on the electoral roll. They underwent detailed neuropsychological and medical assessments and donated a blood sample for clinical chemistry, proteomics and genomics. A knowledgeable informant was also interviewed. Structural MRI… read more
CHeBA Research Project: Sydney Centenarian Study
The Sydney Centenarian Study is a longitudinal project that explores the genetic and environmental determinants of extreme longevity. The study examines the cognition, health, care needs, brain structure and genetics of Australia’s oldest old.
Aims The age composition of Australia’s population is projected to change considerably over the coming decades with elderly Australians the fastest growing proportion of the population. This is particularly true of centenarians, the exceptional group of individuals who reach the age of 100. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in June 2015 there were 29,612 individuals in Australia aged 95-99 years old and 4,279 who were aged 100 or more. It is estimated that there will be 12,000 centenarians in Australia by 2020 and 50,000 by 2050. The number of centenarians worldwide is estimated to increase 15-fold to 2.2 million by 2050. Despite the rapid ageing of our population there have been only a few population-based studies of centenarians and near-centenarians internationally, and none in Australia. The study of exceptionally long lived individuals will shed light on the determinants of successful aging, both environmental and genetic… read more
CHeBA Longitudinal Study: Older Australian Twins Study
Since 2007, the longitudinal Older Australian Twins Study has investigated the genetic and environmental contributions to healthy ageing, in particular ageing in the absence of brain dysfunction and disease, in twins aged 65 years and beyond.
Description The Older Australian Twins Study is a longitudinal study investigating healthy brain ageing in older twins (65+ years). Healthy ageing is characterised by low levels of disability, high cognitive and functional capacity, and an active engagement in life. The most important ingredient of healthy ageing is a healthy brain, bereft of age-related diseases and dysfunction. Brain ageing and brain diseases are determined by multiple genetic factors that interact with environmental influences. Since identical twins share 100% of their genes, whereas non-identical twins share half the genetic information, detailed comparisons of these two groups has the potential to discover new genes involved in cognitive decline or resilience. OATS commenced in New South Wales in January 2007, in Queensland in December 2007, and in Victoria in February 2008. Since the OATS study started we have followed our twin volunteers up every two years to check on… read more
CHeBA Research Project - Maintain Your Brain
Maintain Your Brain is a randomised controlled trial of multiple online interventions designed to target modifiable risk factors for dementia in general and Alzheimer's Disease in particular.
Description Maintain Your Brain is a randomised controlled trial of multiple online interventions designed to target modifiable risk factors for dementia in general and AD in particular. Risk factors to be addressed are physical inactivity, cognitive inactivity, depression/anxiety, overweight and obesity, and poor dietary habits. Up to four intervention modules (physical activity, nutrition, brain training, and peace of mind) will be administered based on individual risk profiles. All activities and assessments will be conducted on a computer with internet access via the Maintain Your Brain eHealth platform. Maintain Your Brain invited over 8,000 individuals through the 45 and Up Study to participate in the trial. Participants were aged 55-77 years and did not have diagnosed dementia, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Maintain Your Brain will run for three years with annual assessments measuring risk factors and cognition. If you are… read more

All CHeBA Projects

CHeBA Research Project: Normal Brain Ageing, Alzheimer's Disease and the Role of Apolipoproteins
Apolipoproteins, a family of lipid associated proteins in plasma are best known for their association with lipoprotein particles, and cholesterol transport and clearance. In the brain several members regulate inflammatory processes, synaptic function and associate with cognitive function.
Description Blood is not only a repository for a variety of disease biomarkers, but its constituents can also reflect the status of the body as it ages, responds to lifestyle and environmental impacts such as nutrition, exercise and education, and reflects changes within the body such as response to disease. While current blood-based assays of specific markers such as Aβ peptides have been disappointing, there is a wealth of as yet untapped information in blood which holds promise to: Distinguish profiles of normal ageing from disease trajectories, Identify biochemical targets for lifestyle intervention, and Identify potential causative and/ or protective factors for disease onset. To date, we have used cutting edge proteomics technology to identify dysregulation of several plasma protein family groups in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). We have found that levels of apolipoprotein family members are correlated… read more
Participate in CogSCAN
CogSCAN is the first independent, systematic evaluation of four prominent and widely used computerised cognitive assessment instruments in healthy older adults and in people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
We are seeking volunteers to participate in a study that aims to investigate how useful computerised tests can be, particularly in identifying cognitive impairment in older adults. Since computerised tests are being increasingly used in clinical practice and research, this world first study will examine whether they are as good as the tests typically administered face to face by a neuropsychologist. To register, you must be aged 60 or over. If you decide to volunteer, you will be asked to complete some questionnaires and an interview about your general health, do some computerised cognitive (‘thinking’) tasks on a touch screen tablet computer (iPad) and also face-to-face. We are interested in what you think of the tasks. We’d like to hear from people with all levels of computer experience (or none)! Contact If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study, please contact:  T (02) 9385 0186E…
CHeBA Research Project: PATH Through Life Study
The Personality & Total Health (PATH) Through Life project is a large, on-going, population-based, longitudinal cohort study comprising approximately 7500 participants ranging from early to late adulthood.
Description (A collaboration with the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing.) The Personality & Total Health (PATH) Through Life project is a large, on-going, population-based, longitudinal cohort study comprising approximately 7500 participants ranging from early to late adulthood. The project aims to track and define the lifespan course of depression, anxiety, substance use and cognitive ability, identify environmental risk and protective factors within these domains, and examine the relationships between depression, anxiety and substance use with cognitive ability and dementia. The PATH Through Life project is a 20 year longitudinal cohort study of 7,485 young (aged 20–24 at baseline), midlife (aged 40–44 at baseline) and older (aged 60–64 at baseline) adults randomly sampled from the electoral roll of the Australian Capital Territory and the nearby city of Queanbeyan. Aims The original aims of the project are… read more
CHeBA Research Project: Proteomics and Ageing
The CheBA proteomics group uses mass spectrometry techniques to identify age and neurodegenerative disease related changes to protein profiles in plasma and other tissues. This will help us to identify potential biomarkers, and understand mechanisms which drive disorders and diseases such as MCI and dementia.
Description Proteomics is the large scale study of the protein expression profile of a living organism. Proteomes not only vary between cell types and tissues, but are dynamic in that they vary over time, with disease, and respond to environmental and lifestyle change. They are involved in a range of cellular processes, including ageing. We hope to better understand this role by studying protein expression, function and changes in normal ageing and age-related disorders, such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Aims Identification of AD and MCI biomarkers in plasma which may change with conversion to disease, disease progression or are associated with brain volumetric changes or features such as white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Evaluate and validate specific plasma proteins, including Aβ peptides and apoliopoproteins as markers of early or preclinical dementia. Explore the relationship between plasma levels… read more
CHeBA Research Project: Structural Brain Networks
The emerg­ing network approach, based on graph theory, has the significant advantage of providing rich, structural descrip­tion, which allows efficient computation and comparison of different connection topologies within a common theoretical framework. Structural brain network images are constructed using either structural brain scans, such as DTI, or 3D T1-weighted scans.
Description Traditionally, the study of the relationship between brain structure, brain ageing and associated neuropsychiatric disorders involved examining circumscribed atrophy or other abnormalities of various grey or white matter regions of interest by using 3D T1- weighted structural MRI scans. However, there are limita­tions with this approach. One such limitation is that in normal ageing, and in brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or schizophrenia, a large number of struc­tures show atrophy or abnormality making the significance of any one structural change difficult to establish. Further­more, this approach does not take into account the fact that the brain functions as a network of inter-connected regions, and it is the abnormality in the network that is more indicative of functional impairment. The emerg­ing network approach, based on graph theory, has the significant advantage of providing rich, structural descrip­tion,… read more
CHeBA Research Project: The Organisation of the Elderly Connectome
The scans of community-dwelling participants aged 70-90 years are studied in order to examine normal age-related changes in the structural organisation of the elderly brain.
Description Prior investigations of human brain structural networks have primarily focused on healthy young adults and clinical samples. We study the scans of community-dwelling participants aged 70-90 years in order to examine normal age-related changes in the structural organisation of the elderly brain. Aims To examine age-related changes in structural topological organisation of the elderly brain. To investigate whether both hemispheric asymmetry and sex differences in structural networks are present in an older population. To examine changes in the structural network using functional network measures. Findings Findings from this study were published in the journal, Neuroimage. The connectivity data of all cognitively healthy elderly subjects were collected as part of the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study and analysed by Perry et al (