Understanding how local area deprivation, health inequality and multimorbidity contribute to progression of dementia and cognitive impairment
Principal Investigator: Dr Calum Hamilton
As many as 40% of dementia cases may be preventable through addressing modifiable individual risk factors in earlier life. However, many of these factors are inter-related; whether this is looking at social factors, health inequalities or the occurrence of other conditions alongside cognitive decline. While the factors related to deprivation and multimorbidity have been studied for their links with clinical dementia, the contributions of multiple neuropathologies (the study of disease through tissue samples from the nervous system), has not.
This study will examine brain tissue from The Brains for Dementia Research (BDR) cohort, which currently holds donations from over 950 deceased individuals who took part in repeated clinico-cognitive assessment during life. Donors came from across England and Wales including areas with a range of deprivation. The goal of the study is to assess the relative (and possibly interacting) contributions of socioeconomic deprivation and multi-morbidity to cognitive decline, loss of functional independence, clinical decline to dementia and death. Uniquely, we may also assess how autopsy-proven neuropathologies also contribute to decline alongside these due to the comprehensive pathological assessments undertaken.