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Prof. Kaarin Anstey - International Federation on Ageing. Canberra, , AU

Prof. Kaarin Anstey Prof. Kaarin Anstey

Director, UNSW Ageing Futures Institute | University of New South Wales


Psychology and neuroscience expert exploring the epidemiology of cognition and dementia







Is Alzheimer's disease preventable? Professor Kaarin Anstey, Feb 2011 The Brains Behind Dementia Research - Professor Kaarin Anstey Scientia Professor Kaarin Anstey




Professor Kaarin Anstey is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Director of the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute, and a Senior Principal Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia. Anstey is also Chair of the International Research Network on Dementia
Prevention. Anstey’s research programs focus on the causes, consequences and prevention of cognitive ageing, dementia, and common mental disorders in adulthood. She leads the PATH Through Life cohort study that has followed a population-based sample for 20 years to examine risk and protective factors for cognitive decline and dementia, mental health and healthy ageing. Anstey led development of the ANU-ADRI risk score for Alzheimer’s disease and is an investigator on several multi-domain dementia risk reduction trials. Kaarin’s second area of research focusses on how cognitive and sensory ageing impact driving in older adults. In this sphere Anstey is leading studies to improve older driver skills and to understand how cognitive decline affects driving abilities. Kaarin has worked with the WHO in the area of dementia, and is a member of the Governance Committee of the Global Council on Brain Health.

Areas of Expertise (13)

Developmental Psychology and Ageing

Public Health and Health Services

Geriatrics and Gerontology

Fostering Healthy Ageing

Cognitive Sciences

Health Promotion

Cognitive Reserve

Aged Health Care


Mental Health


Older Drivers


Education (2)

University of Queensland, University of Sydney: PhD, Psychology 1997

University of Sydney: BA, Psychology 1991

Affiliations (4)

  • Dementia Collaborative Research Centre - Early Diagnosis and Prevention: Director
  • NeuRA: Senior Principal Research Scientist
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing: Deputy Director
  • NHMRC Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration: Director

Media Appearances (6)

Moderate drinking may improve cognitive health for older adults, study says

CNN  online


"There is now a lot of observational evidence showing that light to moderate alcohol drinking is associated with better cognitive function and a lower risk of dementia compared with alcohol abstaining," said senior principal research scientist Kaarin Anstey, a director of the NHMRC Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration in Australia, who was not involved in the study.

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Should older drivers be tested more?

YourLifeChoices  online


“While the road toll is decreasing in Australia on average, deaths among older Australians are actually increasing,” UNSW Ageing Futures Institute director and NeuRA senior principal research scientist Professor Kaarin Anstey told The New Daily.

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MIND diet may protect you from dementia

Knowridge Science Report  online


This is the first study outside of the United States showing that the MIND diet reduces the risk of dementia. The lead author of the study is Scientia Professor Kaarin Anstey, Director of the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute.

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Keen to improve your memory? It might be as simple as ABC, expert explains

ABC News  online


Many of us have first-hand experience with the frustrations of memory lapses, and it's not unusual to be concerned that they are a sign of something sinister. But Professor Kaarin Anstey says most memory lapses are a normal part of the ageing process...

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From pollution to caffeine intake: Researcher reveals dementia risks.

Science Daily  print


Dementia strikes 47 million people worldwide. Yet scientists are still urgently trying to find why the disease affects some but not others. Among the findings from the latest research are that eating a large amount of fatty foods and living in a polluted area may increase dementia risk, whereas taking regular exercise and keeping cholesterol at healthy levels may lower risk.

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The science of defying death

Australian Geographic  print


Scientists are working against the clock to discover how we can live longer, healthier lives – and how we might one day defeat the most common causes of death.

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Featured Articles (9)

Validation of Brief Screening Tools to Identify Impaired Driving Among Older Adults in Australia

JAMA Network Open

Kaarin J Anstey, Ranmalee Eramudugolla, Md Hamidul Huque, Mark Horswill, Kim Kiely, Alex Black, Joanne Wood

2020 These findings suggest that off-road screening tests can reliably identify older drivers with a strong probability of failing an on-road driving test.

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Future Directions for Dementia Risk Reduction and Prevention Research: An International Research Network on Dementia Prevention Consensus

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Kaarin J Anstey, Ruth Peters, Lidan Zheng, Deborah E Barnes, Carol Brayne, Henry Brodaty, John Chalmers, Linda Clare, Roger A Dixon, Hiroko Dodge, Nicola T Lautenschlager, Laura Middleton, Chengxuan Qiu, Glenn Rees, Suzana Shahar, Kristine Yaffe

2020 Drawing on recent integrative reviews and a consensus workshop, the International Research Network on Dementia Prevention developed a consensus statement on priorities for future research.

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An Internet-Based Intervention Augmented With a Diet and Physical Activity Consultation to Decrease the Risk of Dementia in At-Risk Adults in a Primary Care Setting

Journal of Medical Internet Research

Kaarin J Anstey, Nicolas Cherbuin, Sarang Kim, Mitchell McMaster, Catherine D'Este, Nicola Lautenschlager, George Rebok, Ian McRae, Susan J Torres, Kay L Cox, Constance Dimity Pond

2020 This study aims to evaluate a multidomain dementia risk reduction intervention, Body Brain Life in General Practice (BBL-GP), targeting at-risk adults in primary care.

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A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses that Evaluate Risk Factors for Dementia to Evaluate the Quantity, Quality, and Global Representativeness of Evidence

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Kaarin J Anstey, Nicole Ee, Ranmalee Eramudugolla, Carol Jagger, Ruth Peters

2019 To evaluate the quantity, quality, and representativeness of evidence, we conducted a review of reviews of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Vascular dementia (VaD), and Any Dementia.

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Effect of tailored on-road driving lessons on driving safety in older adults: A randomised controlled trial

Accident Analysis & Prevention

Kaarin J Anstey, Ranmalee Eramudugolla, Kim M Kiely, Jasmine Price

2018 We evaluated the effectiveness of individually tailored driving lessons compared with a road rules refresher course for improving older driver safety.

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Bridging the Translation Gap: From Dementia Risk Assessment to Advice on Risk Reduction

Journal of the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease

Kaarin J Anstey, Ranmalee Eramudugolla, Diane E Hosking, Nicola T Lautenschlager, Roger A Dixon

2015 This narrative review provides capsule summaries of current evidence for 25 risk and protective factors associated with AD and dementia according to domains including biomarkers, demographic, lifestyle, medical, and environment.

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Body brain life: A randomized controlled trial of an online dementia risk reduction intervention in middle-aged adults at risk of Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions

Kaarin J Anstey, Alex Bahar‐Fuchs, Pushpani Herath, Sarang Kim, Richard Burns, George W Rebok, Nicolas Cherbuin

2015 To examine the efficacy of body brain life (BBL), a 12-week online dementia risk reduction intervention [was performed].

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The influence of smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity on cognitive impairment free life expectancy

International Journal of Epidemiology

Kaarin J Anstey, Andrew Kingston, Kim M Kiely, Mary A Luszcz, Paul Mitchell, Carol Jagger

2014 Smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity are risk factors for mortality and dementia. However, their impact on cognitive impairment-free life expectancy (CIFLE) has not previously been estimated.

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A self-report risk index to predict occurrence of dementia in three independent cohorts of older adults: the ANU-ADRI

PLoS One

Kaarin J Anstey, Nicolas Cherbuin, Pushpani M Herath, Chengxuan Qiu, Lewis H Kuller, Oscar L Lopez, Robert S Wilson, Laura Fratiglioni

2014 We aimed to evaluate the extent to which the ANU-ADRI can predict the risk of AD in older adults and to compare the ANU-ADRI to the dementia risk index developed from the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study for middle-aged cohorts.

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