Vascular Brain Ageing Division


  • The Tasmanian Study of Cognition and Gait (TASCOG) - is a population-based longitudinal study of brain ageing (NHMRC project grants 403000, 491109, 2006 - 2013) using MRI phenotypes, focusing on subclinical cerebrovascular disease (white matter hyperintensities) and neurodegeneration (brain atrophy) as primary outcome measures. Collaborations are with the Menzies Research Institute, Baker-IDI, University of Western Sydney, DEPM Monash, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Centre for Advanced Imaging Queensland.
  • The Cognition and Type 2 Diabetes in Older Tasmanians (CDOT) study (NHMRC project grants 436797,606543, 1063608 ). Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is considered to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's dementia. CDOT uses MRI to examining the effects of DM on central haemodynamics, subclinical cerebrovascular disease and brain atrophy; and the contribution of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) to cognitive decline associated with DM. Collaborations are with the Menzies Research Institute, Baker-IDI, University of Western Sydney, DEPM Monash, and the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.
  • The MElbourne T2D Twin study (METTS) – funded by Diabetes Australia Research Trust Grant, 2008, NHMRC project grant 1063608) - this is a co-twin study in collaboration with the Australian Twin Registry exploring the effect of DM on brain structure and function in older twins who are discordant for DM.
  • STAND-FIRM trial - improving secondary stroke prevention in the community (PI Prof Amanda Thrift, NHMRC project grant 1082094).
  • The impact of cerebral microbleeds and other MRI markers on the risk of haemorrhage in the presence of atrial fibrillation.


  • Stroke in Vietnam - In collaboration with the Menzies Research Institute, the Baker-IDI Research Institute, the World Health Organisation and the Vietnam Ministry of Health. The aim is to set up a hospital-based surveillance system for stroke at 2 major centres in Ha Noi and in Ho Chi Minh City using the STEPS approach developed by the World Health Organisation.
  • Surveillance of vascular diseases and risk factors in rural India (The Rishi Valley Project) - in collaboration with lead investigator A/Prof Amanda Thrift, Dr Roger Evans (Monash University) and the Rishi Valley Education Centre in India (Dr Kartik Kalyanram and Dr Kamakshi Kartik). This study will be used to determine the extent of common non-communicable diseases and the risk factors for these diseases in a rural region of Andhra Pradesh (among approximately 38,000 residents of approximately 40 villages). These projects are funded by NHMRC grants 1040030 & 1005740).
  • Genetic determinants of brain ageing - genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of stroke and dementia, in particular with MRI endophenotypes such as brain atrophy and subclinical cerebrovascular disease in collaboration with the Framingham Study Investigators (A/Prof Seshadri) and others.