The TATA Longitudinal study of Aging (TLSA) is a long-term, ongoing aging cohort study of residents of the city of Bangalore, India. The study began in 2015 with the aim of recruiting 1000 elderly subjects from Bangalore and follow them up periodically for several years. TLSA is funded by TATA trusts, a philanthropic organization and conducted by Center for Brain Research (CBR). Participants are recruited from the community for comprehensive evaluation of the risk and protective factors associated with cognitive changes due to normal ageing, Alzheimer’s disease and other related disorders. The study cohort (n=1,000) comprising of cognitively healthy individuals without dementia in the age group of 45 years and above will undergo detailed assessments comprising of clinical, neurocognitive, lifestyle, anthropometric, biochemical, genetic and multi-modal neuroimaging measures at baseline and periodic follow up.
Ageing is an inevitable part of life. Older adults undergo normal, healthy ageing. Healthy ageing implies maintenance of the best possible level of mental, social and physical well-being. However, some older adults can experience memory problems as they age. If these memory problems begin to significantly affect their activities of daily living, they might need external help and support. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related brain disease characterized by decline in cognitive functions such as memory, language etc. and a decline in overall quality of life of affected persons as well as caregivers.
The percentage of the elderly in India has been increasing in recent years and the trend is likely to continue in the coming decades. As the percentage of elderly increase, dementia including Alzheimer’s disease will be one of the major burdens and a major socio- economic challenge. India and China will see the maximum number of new cases of dementia in the next 2-3 decades. India is unique in terms of genetic susceptibility, diversity in language, education and socio-economic backgrounds, risk factors – diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, midlife obesity, smoking and the rapidly changing socio-cultural milieu wherein the joint family system is changing to nuclear families resulting in differential impact on dementia. At present, there are no effective treatments that can cure Alzheimer’s disease once it is developed and we do not know the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease. The TLSA study will help to identify the risk and protective factors that contribute to pathogenesis and progression of dementia. We hope that this study will throw light on these unanswered questions.