Towards a useful and practical prediction of dementia conversion risk

Presenter: Prof Nicolas Cherbuin, ANU

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About the presentation

Beyond a formal diagnosis, an unmet clinical need is the ability to provide personalised guidance to individuals experiencing cognitive decline on the likelihood they will convert to dementia in a specific and meaningful timeframe. A large amount of research aimed at identifying those most at risk of developing dementia, using complex blood or neuroimaging biomarkers, is available. It frequently relies on amyloid or tau PET imaging, machine learning, computation of elaborate MRI measures, or the combination of complex genetic, molecular, and physiological biomarkers. However, although advanced methods often achieve a good level of accuracy, they tend to be unacceptably invasive, time consuming, and costly. This makes them unsuitable for frequent follow-up assessments and for use outside major metropolitan centres. Moreover, most studies in this area of research do not provide clear guidance on how significant findings can be applied in the clinic. In this talk we will discuss how relatively simple approaches can be used to predict conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease within 5 years based on a combination of widely available MRI and blood markers of neurodegeneration, and routine cognitive tests.

About the presenters

Cherbuin (PhD in Psychology from ANU, 2006) is Director of the ANU Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing where he leads the Neuroimaging and Brain Lab. He has particular expertise in brain ageing and the identification of risk factors for cognitive decline and neurodegeneration. His research interests span the application of advanced neuroimaging techniques to model brain changes across the lifecourse, the use of epidemiological and statistical methods to investigate individuals at higher risk of accelerated brain ageing and dementia, and the investigation of mechanisms underlying the development of chronic disease and biological senescence. Cherbuin has extensively published in the domains of neuroscience, psychiatry, neurology, psychology, population health, epidemiology and gerontology. He has held several competitive fellowships, most recently an ARC Future Fellowship (2013-2016). He is the current chair of the International Association of Research Universities (IARU) Ageing and Longevity stream.    

Further information: [email protected]

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