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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