Using genetics and epigenetics to understand ageing, dementia, and longevity

Cognitive ageing, dementia, and longevity are complex traits influenced by genes and the environment. My research utilises large, population based cohorts with genome-wide genetic and epigenetic data to gain insight into these traits and their phenotypic and genotypic overlap.
Here, I will present GWAS findings for educational attainment and cognitive ability, discussing their genetic overlap, and genetic correlations with health outcomes. I will show how polygenic scores for educational attainment can be used to predict longevity and how stratification by genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease may help identify groups with the greatest disease risk.
To explore the environmental correlates of education and cognitive ability, I will present some epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) and epigenetic clock findings for these traits. Finally, I will discuss some ongoing research projects and present preliminary results from an EWAS study of dementia.