Identifying risk factors for neurocognitive decline theme

Vitamin D and neurocognitive dysfunction (Dr David Llewellyn)

We are conducting an ancillary Study to the NHLBI-funded Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) investigating vitamin D levels in relation to Alzheimer‘s disease, dementia and neuroimaging abnormalities (supported by the Alzheimer‘s Association, the NIHR Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care [PenCLAHRC] and other funders). This follows on from our ealier work which established that low serum vitamin D levels increase the odds of cognitive impairment in older English and US adults, and increases the risk of cognitive decline in older Italian adults. Vitamin D supplementation offers an inexpensive and well tolerated way to increase vitamin D levels thus raising new possibilities for dementia prevention and treatment.

Metabolic dysfunction, lifestyle factors and dementia (Dr David Llewellyn)

It is now estimated that up to half of all cases of dementia could be prevented by targeting modifiable risk factors. This programme of work therefore investigates a range of potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia including parathyroid hormone levels, leptin, obesity, and alcohol consumption (supported by the NIHR PenCLAHRC, the Norman Family Charitable Trust and other funders). This includes a Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2014 Experimental Module on alcohol consumption and drinking history.

Vascular aspects of cognitive impairment and dementia (Dr David Llewellyn)

We are currently investigating the vascular aspects of neurocognitive dysfunction in a range of clinical and population-based studies including the HRS (supported by the Mary Kinross Charitable Trust and other funders). For example we are currently conducting a systematic review and Monte Carlo simulation study incorporating quasi-experimental analyses to establish whether coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) increases the long-term risk of cognitive decline or dementia.