Challenges addressed

The scarcity of empirical research on the impact of climate change on brain health is mainly due to the challenge integrating interdependent environmental, socio-economic and demographic variables into a statistical analysis framework that accounts for the inherent inter-individual variability in brain and behaviour. Given this, the research team aims to establish a comprehensive approach for understanding the neurobiology of the impact of short- and long-term climate change on mental health and cognitive decline. They intend to do so by integrating large-scale climate, geographical space, brain imaging and behavioural data from the population over a period of 20 years. Progress in understanding the impact of climate change on mood and cognitive performance will give a major boost to prevention centred research. Any advance in this field would have not only a major socio-economic impact given the costs of dementia and mental disorders care, but it will also potentially reduce the suffering of patients and their caregivers.

Objectives

  • Develop a statistical analysis framework that integrates environmental, socio-economic and demographic variables with neurobiological and mood information.
  • Test weather global warming and resulting environmental changes correlate with determinants of mood and cognitive performance.

What are the expected outputs of this project?

  • Inform the general population about the nature of climate change events that could lead to brain health fragility across the lifespan
  •  Inform the policymakers and health care professionals on targeted public health interventions with major beneficial impact on mood and cognition.

Milestones

  • Q1

    Georeferencing, environmental, lifetime factors and neuroimaging data acquisition and curation

  • Q3

    Statistical analysis of environmental, socio-economic and demographic variables together with neurobiological and mood information

  • Q4

    Open publication of the data analysis methodology and publication of research results

Funding

This project is financed by CLIMACT. 

Leaders

Prof.
Prof. Bogdan Draganski

Head of neuroimaging lab (LREN), UNIL - CHUV

Collaborators

Dr.
Dr. Stéphane Joost

EPFL - ENAC

Partners

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Sustainable Development Goals

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