In 2019, Dr Donncha Mullins received funding to research how to better identify people who are at high risk of dementia.

Project title: ‘Development of a Polygenic Risk Score of Motoric Cognitive Risk (MCR) Syndrome for Early Identification of Individuals at High Risk of Dementia’

This project will use large datasets to thoroughly explore the relationship between MCR syndrome and brain health – using measures of walking speed, memory and thinking – and  develop a polygenic risk score for the development of MCR syndrome in older adults.

How will this research make a difference?

Dementia is set to place an enormous social and financial burden on society in the coming decades, yet there remains no effective drug that can delay the onset or reduce the progression of the disease.

Earlier identification and treatment can improve clinical outcomes by allowing people to plan ahead while still having the ability to do so; and by treating dementia-related behavioural difficulties, depression, and hallucinations. Even small reductions in the incidence of dementia, or delaying the age of onset, are likely to have significant effects on the associated public health costs.

Ultimately, this research aims to reduce the number of individuals living with dementia worldwide.

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