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Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology

Funded under the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative

Professor Ian J. Deary
Director of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology

The Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Programme is a cross-council initiative to strengthen multidisciplinary and collaborative research in ageing. In phase one of the programme three new ‘lifelong health’ research centres were announced in 2008, funded by the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council. The centres will carry out research on healthy ageing, targeting the major determinants of health and wellbeing over the whole life course and reducing dependency in later life. The initiative will provide substantial long-term funding for the new centres. Each will have specific research themes, drawing on the interdisciplinary strengths of the research councils, such as quality of life, physical frailty and the ageing brain.


This “lifelong health” Centre investigates how ageing affects cognition (cognitive ageing), and how mental ability in youth affects health and longevity (cognitive epidemiology). It also provides infrastructural support to conduct new activities in ageing and enhance training of young non-clinical and clinical scientists in cognitive ageing and cognitive epidemiology.


The Centre’s mission is: to elucidate the routes to the vulnerable ageing brain, and therefore provide information to prevent or ameliorate cognitive disability and its negative consequences for health and wellbeing; to determine the mechanisms by which lower cognitive ability through the lifecourse renders the body vulnerable to ill health and impaired wellbeing; and to provide a strong environment for interdisciplinary research training in cognitive ageing and cognitive epidemiology.


The Centre is composed of six research groups each focusing on a different aspect of ageing research: cognitive epidemiology, human cognitive ageing, neuroendocrine aspects of cognitive ageing, models of cognitive ageing and neural health, genetics and statistics of brain ageing, and brain imaging. The Centre’s focus is to advance knowledge by research into biological, neurological, genetic, social, economic, and psychological aspects of cognitive ageing in humans and lifecourse mammalian model systems and to maintain, develop and exploit the unique long-term human cohort studies assembled in Scotland to explore lifecourse influences on cognitive ageing and pathways whereby cognitive ability in early life affects later health.


Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology
Department of Psychology
The University of Edinburgh
7 George Square
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
EH8 9JZ.

Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 8275
Fax: +44 (0) 131 651 1771


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