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AAIC 2022 | Multidomain modifiable dementia risk factors and cognitive performance in middle-aged adults

The Australia-wide Healthy Brain Project is an online registry monitoring middle-aged adults in order to characterize the earliest stages of cognitive decline and allow for better understanding of early disease trajectory in dementia. The project has enrolled over 7000 middle-aged adults with a first- or second-degree family history of dementia. who each undertook cognition tests and questionnaires on their lifestyle, physical health, and psychological health. Lisa Bransby, BAppSci (Psych) (Hons), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, describes the findings of an investigation into modifiable risk factors and their impact on cognitive performance in adults enrolled in the Healthy Brain Project, particularly looking at how these risk factors co-occur. Five broad domains were devised: mood, lifestyle behaviors, cardiovascular health, cognitive/social engagement, and sleep. In total, 67% of participants reported at least one modifiable risk factor in two or more domains. Those reporting risk factors in 3-5 domains showed worse memory performance and greater subjective cognitive concerns compared to those who reported none. Overall, the study determined that multidomain modifiable risk factors for dementia are highly prevalent and are associated with poorer early outcomes. Ms Bransby comments on what these results may mean for large-scale lifestyle interventions and prevention trials. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.