A longitudinal study of depression, anxiety, substance use and cognitive change: PATH Through Life Wave 3 [ 2007 - 2010 ]

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Kaarin Anstey (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Peter Butterworth Prof Helen Christensen Prof Simon Easteal Prof Andrew Mackinnon

Brief description The PATH Through Life study is a longitudinal study of depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use. It is also a study of normal cognitive development, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. PATH involves three cohorts of adults who were aged 20-24, 40-44 and 60-64 at baseline. They are followed up at four yearly intervals. This application seeks funding for Wave 3 of the study, which will allow for 8 years of follow-up of the baseline sample to be conducted. The key aims are to discover the relationships between biological and psychological processes in depression, anxiety, substance abuse and cognitive ageing; to identify the socio-demographic factors contributing to these disorders, and to quantify more fully the range of social and economic consequences of mental illness and cognitive decline. Such consequences include reduced workforce participation, relationship breakdown, family and carer burden, suicide attempts, use of health services and need for social welfare. Wave 3 will also focus on transitions into parenthood, fertility and mental health, menopause, and retirement. Factors in early and mid-adulthood that influence healthy ageing and cognitive decline in late life will be identified. Information is obtained on physical health, health habits , social networks, employment and work stress, lifestyle activities, personality, family structure, physical function and cognitive performance. DNA has also been obtained and a sub-sample of the oldest cohort also participate in a study of brain MRIs. Longitudinal analysis is the only means of distinguishing the causes of disorders and tracking their development within individuals. PATH is unique in its narrow age-group design and breadth of measures, allowing for detailed understanding of the pathways to mental health and illness, and for identification of how to prevent mental illness and dementia.

Funding Amount $AUD 2,068,954.71

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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