Vascular risk factors (VRFs) impair brain structure and function resulting in sub-clinical brain disease or overt clinical symptoms of stroke which may culminate in cognitive impairment, dementia, depression, disability, and frailty. The aim of this project is to establish a population-based cohort of older adults (50+ years) and investigate the association of cardiovascular health (CVH) with cognition and frailty longitudinally.
Research is necessary to investigate the epidemiology, natural history, and neurobiology underlying the interaction of vascular risk factors with cognition and frailty in a genetically unique African population living in a particular environment. It is thus necessary to generate novel data from an unexplored indigenous African population for a deeper understanding of the determinants and biological processes of cognitive impairment and frailty; the lifestyle and drug targets for prevention, disease modification and treatment, and the design of effective translational strategies with the highest regional and global population health impact.
The aim of the Vascular heAlth, fraiLty and cognItion in Ageing Nigerians sTudy [VALIANT] is to establish a population-based cohort of older adults (50+ years) and investigate the association of cardiovascular health (CVH) with cognition and frailty longitudinally. Leveraging existing projects with population-based recruitment, we will establish a population-based pilot cohort of healthy older adults in the city of Ibadan, southwestern Nigeria, and evaluate measures of cardiovascular health, cognition, and frailty at baseline. With anticipated additional future leveraged funding, we will expand the cohort, including a rural sub-cohort, undertake neurovascular and brain imaging, assess the cohort annually, and establish a biobank of biological materials including serum, plasma, DNA, and brain tissue for future analyses. The latter will be carried out in synergy with the IBADAN Brain Bank Project, the first organized African brain bank.