Professor Kaarin Anstey, Director, Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, ANU.
Research in the cognitive ageing within CRAHW focusses on describing the course of cognitive development from young adulthood into old age, identifying factors that moderate the trajectory of cognitive development and decline and the impact of cognitive ageing on everyday functions. A large source of data for this research is the PATH Through Life Project which is a longitudinal study of Adults from 20 to 75. Cognitive ageing research also involves the analysis of the DYNOPTA dataset, the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the AusDiab study. We have a biopsychosocial approach to identifying influences on cognitive development and our research spans genetics, medical conditions, lifestyle, social engagement, and general activities of daily living. Research in cognitive ageing also includes non-pharmacological intervention studies to evaluate strategies for reducing cognitive decline. These include interventions focusing on lifestyle and physical activity, cognitive training and addressing mood in patients with MCI.
Research into dementia within CRAHW focusses primarily on Epidemiology, Prevention, Knowledge Translation and identifying neural correlates of brain changes associated with dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Research in Prevention has developed a risk assessment tool that is now being used in dementia risk reduction trials. We have also developed an online dementia risk reduction intervention that is currently being evaluated in an online trial.