The Beaver Dam Offspring Study-Neurocognitive Aging Study (BOSS-NCAS)

Principal Investigator(s): 

The BOSS-NCAS is an ongoing longitudinal study on sensory, cognitive and brain aging. The study team aims to further understand how the senses (hearing, vision and smell) and the brain age together over time and whether the presence of certain markers in the blood can be used to understand who is at risk for developing age-related changes in brain function and the senses.

The BOSS-NCAS is a newly funded study (NIH R01 AG079289; 2022–2027; PI: Merten) conducted as an 18-year follow-up in participants of the previous Beaver Dam Offspring Study (BOSS; NIH R01 AG021917; 2004–2021; PI: Cruickshanks. The BOSS was started in 2004 with almost 3,300 participants who were on average 50 years old at baseline (range 21–84 years). The focus of the BOSS was to investigate the epidemiology of sensory (hearing, vision, olfaction) disorders in middle-aged adults. The study is characterized by the conduction of standardized objective assessments, including hearing evaluation, eye examination, olfaction testing, cognitive assessment and a blood withdrawal with long-term storage. The examinations were conducted every 5 years (2005–2008; 2010–2013; 2015–2017). In the BOSS-NCAS a similar assessment battery will be repeated, expanding upon the cognitive assessments and dementia ascertainment in the now on average ~70 year old cohort. By following this cohort from midlife to later life, the study teams aims to investigate the long-term associations and risk factors for changing sensory and cognitive systems and for the development of dementia. The goal is to understand who is at risk for developing age-related changes in brain function and the senses (hearing, vision, smell). This information will be used to help predict future health care needs in the United Stated and might inform future prevention and treatment strategies for a wide range of age-related diseases.

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