COSMIC (Cohort Studies of Memory in an International Consortium): An international consortium to identify risk and protective factors and biomarkers of cognitive ageing and dementia in diverse ethnic and sociocultural groups

Perminder S. Sachdev, Darren M. Lipnicki, Nicole A. Kochan, John D. Crawford, Kenneth Rockwood, Shifu Xiao, Juan Li, Xia Li, Carol Brayne, Fiona E. Matthews, Blossom C.M. Stephan, Richard B. Lipton, Mindy J. Katz, Karen Ritchie, Isabelle Carrière, Marie Laure Ancelin, Sudha Seshadri, Rhoda Au, Alexa S. Beiser, Linda C.W. LamCandy H.Y. Wong, Ada W.T. Fung, Ki W. Kim, Ji W. Han, Tae H. Kim, Ronald C. Petersen, Rosebud O. Roberts, Michelle M. Mielke, Mary Ganguli, Hiroko H. Dodge, Tiffany Hughes, Kaarin J. Anstey, Nicolas Cherbuin, Peter Butterworth, Tze P. Ng, Qi Gao, Simone Reppermund, Henry Brodaty, Kenichi Meguro, Nicole Schupf, Jennifer Manly, Yaakov Stern, Antonio Lobo, Raúl Lopez-Anton, Javier Santabárbara

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A large number of longitudinal studies of population-based ageing cohorts are in progress internationally, but the insights from these studies into the risk and protective factors for cognitive ageing and conditions like mild cognitive impairment and dementia have been inconsistent. Some of the problems confounding this research can be reduced by harmonising and pooling data across studies. COSMIC (Cohort Studies of Memory in an International Consortium) aims to harmonise data from international cohort studies of cognitive ageing, in order to better understand the determinants of cognitive ageing and neurocognitive disorders.Methods/Design: Longitudinal studies of cognitive ageing and dementia with at least 500 individuals aged 60 years or over are eligible and invited to be members of COSMIC. There are currently 17 member studies, from regions that include Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. A Research Steering Committee has been established, two meetings of study leaders held, and a website developed. The initial attempts at harmonising key variables like neuropsychological test scores are in progress.Discussion: The challenges of international consortia like COSMIC include efficient communication among members, extended use of resources, and data harmonisation. Successful harmonisation will facilitate projects investigating rates of cognitive decline, risk and protective factors for mild cognitive impairment, and biomarkers of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Extended implications of COSMIC could include standardised ways of collecting and reporting data, and a rich cognitive ageing database being made available to other researchers. COSMIC could potentially transform our understanding of the epidemiology of cognitive ageing, and have a world-wide impact on promoting successful ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
JournalBMC Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive ageing
  • Cohort studies
  • Data harmonisation
  • Dementia
  • International consortium
  • Mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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