Online Dementia Risk Assessment (hosted by ANU)

Identifying and reducing your risk of dementia

The term ‘dementia’ describes a syndrome of more than 100 different diseases affecting the brain. The most common cause (approximately 50–70%) of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.

Reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors may reduce the chance of developing dementia. Until now there has been no method of assessing future risk of Alzheimer’s disease that did not involve medical tests. Since many of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease can be assessed by a questionnaire, we created a highly accessible tool that is freely available to the general public —the ANUs’ Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Index (ANU-ADRI).

This resources is for anyone who wants to assess their risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

The ANU-ADRI provides a personalised report informing individuals where they can make changes to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This tool may also be used by primary care physicians as a basis for providing preventive health advice to patients, and monitoring improvement in risk profiles.

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Authors: Prof. Kaarin J Anstey, Dr Maree Farrow, Dr Nicholas Cherbuin, Dr Elodie O'Connor

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Background:

The ANU-ADRI is regularly updated based on new research. We have sifted through the results from high-quality studies of 1000s of people and identified 11 risk factors and 4 protective factors that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These are age, sex, education, body mass index, diabetes, depression, serum cholesterol, traumatic brain injury, smoking, alcohol intake, social engagement, physical activity, cognitive activity, fish intake and pesticide exposure.

The ANU-ADRI measures these 15 risk and protective factors to assess an individual’s future risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease to use in population-based settings and interventions.

To evaluate how well the ANU-ADRI works when used in different settings, we calculated the risk and protective scores on three independent cohort studies from the United States and Sweden. These studies followed individuals to determine who developed Alzheimer’s disease. We found that the ANU-ADRI was a valid method to assess risk of Alzheimer’s disease in these samples.

Discover more about the research project

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