Cognitive impairment in the elderly, whether caused by dementia or normal ageing, has been tagged as a research priority in the UK. A 2007 report by the London School of Economics estimated a projected increase from 468,000 to 855,000 (83%) cognitive impairment cases between 2002-2031 in the UK with care costs rising from £5.4 billion to £16.7 billion (in real terms) within the same period. Research into this area, therefore, has both substantial social and economic considerations.
Research investigating the genetic basis of cognition is a rapidly developing field likely to aid the development of new treatments for age-related cognitive deficit. Both variation in cognition and its decline with age have strong genetic contributions estimated at 50% and 40%, respectively.
The aims of our research are to identify the genes responsible for the variation in cognition and its decline with age and to use this information to develop the next generation of drugs that will ameliorate age-related cognitive impairment.
Key Manchester researchers:
- Tony Payton
- Mike Horan
- Neil Pendleton