As longevity increases, the incidence of dementia increases. Tackling this problem is a challenge for all ageing societies. We know that both social factors and genetics affect the risk to develop dementia but we have limited knowledge about how the genome and social conditions interact. The aim is to address this lacuna and analyze what social conditions that, given the individuals’ genome, protect against the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We will use unique longitudinal data from the so-called H70 study that facilitates analyses that systematically combine genetic data and information about social conditions. In a later phase we will also integrate the rapidly developing knowledge on epigenetic processes that lead to changes in gene activities.
The project is multidisciplinary and involves researchers from social science, geriatrics, psychiatry, medicine, and genetics. The combination of competences and access to unique data means that we have the ability to reach new and much needed knowledge about the intricate relationship between the individuals’ genome and the social environment in which they live. The project is an important contribution to the newly established research center AgeCap. Heads of the project are Professor Björn Halleröd and Professor Ingmar Skoog.