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Harnessing the power of cohort studies for dementia research

Harnessing the power of cohort studies for dementia research Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to scope potential and gaps in European cohort studies with focus on brain ageing and neurodegeneration. Design/methodology/approach – Combined and augmented two scoping exercises conducted for European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) and the Alzheimer Society UK. Findings – In total, 106 cohorts initially identified with a further 52 found on second sweep. Strengths include gender balance, diversity of measures and much detail on health and health behaviours, and lifecourse representation. Major gaps identified were the oldest old, non-Caucasians, people in Eastern Europe, migrant populations, rural residents and people in long-term care. Quality of life, psychosocial and environmental factors were limited. Relatively few cohorts are population representative. Analytical methods for combining studies and longitudinal analysis require careful consideration. Research limitations/implications – European studies and published information only. Practical implications – Collaboration across disciplines and studies, greater dissemination of methods and findings will improve knowledge about cognitive and functional decline in current and future older populations. Social implications – Better understanding of brain ageing and the dementia syndrome will improve investment decisions for primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Originality/value – Building on the work of JPND and the Alzheimer Society is the first study of the scope and limitations of current cohorts in Europe. It is designed to help researchers and policy makers in their planning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Mental Health Emerald Publishing

Harnessing the power of cohort studies for dementia research

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References (42)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-5729
DOI
10.1108/JPMH-05-2014-0019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to scope potential and gaps in European cohort studies with focus on brain ageing and neurodegeneration. Design/methodology/approach – Combined and augmented two scoping exercises conducted for European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND) and the Alzheimer Society UK. Findings – In total, 106 cohorts initially identified with a further 52 found on second sweep. Strengths include gender balance, diversity of measures and much detail on health and health behaviours, and lifecourse representation. Major gaps identified were the oldest old, non-Caucasians, people in Eastern Europe, migrant populations, rural residents and people in long-term care. Quality of life, psychosocial and environmental factors were limited. Relatively few cohorts are population representative. Analytical methods for combining studies and longitudinal analysis require careful consideration. Research limitations/implications – European studies and published information only. Practical implications – Collaboration across disciplines and studies, greater dissemination of methods and findings will improve knowledge about cognitive and functional decline in current and future older populations. Social implications – Better understanding of brain ageing and the dementia syndrome will improve investment decisions for primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Originality/value – Building on the work of JPND and the Alzheimer Society is the first study of the scope and limitations of current cohorts in Europe. It is designed to help researchers and policy makers in their planning.

Journal

Journal of Public Mental HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 16, 2015

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