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Cohort Acronym

Cohort type
General population-based cohort

Dementia (unclassified), Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Parkinson's disease, Subjective memory complaints (SMC) or subjective cognitive decline (SCD)

Participant type
No diagnosis

Recruitment Period 1989-92 
Sample size at start or planned sample size if still recruiting 18500  
Estimated Current Sample Size 0 to 4,999 
Age at Recruitment >65   
Gender Male and Female 

MRC CFAS study started in the late 1980s with the initial aim of investigating dementia and cognitive decline in a representative sample of more than 18,000 people aged over 65 years. To date there have been in the region of 48,000 interviews with participants in the study. The range of information collected has also allowed the study to investigate depression and physical disability in the older population and also look at healthy active life expectancy. Following baseline interviews, subsets of the cohort have been contacted for 1, 2, 6 and 8 year follow up and the whole sample were contacted for a 10 year follow up. There have also been in excess of 580 donations of participant’s brains after death.

CFAS is part of the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research http://www.mrc.ac.uk/research/facilities/dementias-platform-uk/

There is a sister study CFAS II which builds on the design and infrastructure of MRC CFAS. It has provided data on generational and geographical differences including people in institutions. CFAS I is the original three sites (Cambridge, Newcastle and Nottingham) from MRC CFAS which are used as a comparitor for CFAS II.

Last update: 13/01/2017

Country United Kingdom 
Contact details
Institution name University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine 
Principal Investiator (PI) Professor Carol Brayne 
Contact email [email protected] 
Contact phone number +44 (0) 1223 330312 
Address CFAS
Institute of Public Health
Forvie Site
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
CB2 0SR 
Funders (Core support) Alzheimer's Society
Previously MRC 

Variables Collected

Brain related measures: Behaviour, Cognitive function, Mental health, Neurological
Funtional rating: Individual physiological, Individual psychological
Anthropometric: N/A
Physical: Cardiovascular, Hearing and Vision, Respiratory
Biological samples: Blood, Other, Saliva
Genotyping: N/A
Brain imaging: N/A
Brain banking: Consent for brain donation
Lifestyle: Alcohol, Dietary habits, Physical activity, Smoking
Socio-economic: Education, Ethnic group, Family circumstances, Housing and accommodation, Marital status, Occupation and employment, Unpaid care
Health service utilisation: Formal health and social care service utilisation including private care
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