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The Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia (LEAD) project

image - The Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia (LEAD!) project

Name: Professor Kaarin Anstey

Position/s: ARC Laureate Fellow, Scientia Professor Kaarin Anstey, Director, UNSW Ageing Futures Institute, Co-Deputy Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research and Co-Director, Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration

Can you please tell us about the project and why it is needed?

The project has three streams. The first involves developing a single risk assessment for chronic diseases of ageing including dementia. The algorithms we are developing will be validated on 10 international cohort studies. The second stream evaluates how to implement the tool in primary care. The third stream focuses on population modelling of national health datasets to learn how Australia’s overall risk burden is evolving.

The project is needed because it is projected that 1.08 million people will have dementia in Australia by 2058 if there is no intervention. Understanding how to best implement what is already known for modifying the risk of dementia is an urgent global health priority because there is no cure for dementia.

What you are hoping to achieve in this project?

By developing a tool that implements evidence on dementia risk reduction, we hope to support clinicians and individual citizens to reduce risk of dementia. We hope that population level risk reduction will ultimately reduce incident dementia.

Who are the project team?

The Chief investigators on this project are: Kaarin Anstey (UNSW/NeuRA) Ruth Peters, (NeuRA/UNSW) Nicola Lautenschlager (Uni Melbourne), Jonathan Shaw (Baker IDI), Craig Anderson, UNSW/George Institute), Louisa Jorm, (UNSW) Kim Kiely, (UNSW/NeuRA), Rachel Whitmer (University of Southern California San Francisco), Fiona Matthews, (University of Newcastle, UK), Miia Kivipelto (Karolinska Institute).

What impact do you imagine the project will have?

We expect the project will support implementation of routine assessment of chronic disease risk factors including risk factors for dementia. We also hope this will raise awareness and improve dementia literacy, and reduce the overall burden of chronic disease. In other work we have developed online interventions to support individuals address their risk factors.

Is there any call to action or collaboration needs you would like to highlight?

We are keen to get feedback on our tool from clinicians and consumers in terms of its useability, presentation, and usefulness. We would also like to know what clinicians need in terms of materials and information relating to dementia risk reduction and whether there are special groups that have particular needs in this area.  If you’d like to collaborate with us please get in touch!

Please email Kaarin at: k.anstey@unsw.edu.au