International Mind, Activities and Urban Places (iMAP) study: methods of a cohort study on environmental and lifestyle influences on brain and cognitive health.

Ester Cerin; Anthony Barnett; Basile Chaix; Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen; Karen Caeyenberghs; Bin Jalaludin; Takemi Sugiyama; James F Sallis; Nicola T Lautenschlager; Michael Y Ni; Govinda Poudel; David Donaire-Gonzalez; Rachel Tham; Amanda J Wheeler; Luke Knibbs; Linwei Tian; Yih-Kai Chan; David W Dunstan; Alison Carver; Kaarin J Anstey
Numerous studies have found associations between characteristics of urban environments and risk factors for dementia and cognitive decline, such as physical inactivity and obesity. However, the contribution of urban environments to brain and cognitive health has been seldom examined directly. This cohort study investigates the extent to which and how a wide range of characteristics of urban environments influence brain and cognitive health via lifestyle behaviours in mid-aged and older adults in three cities across three continents.Participants aged 50-79 years and living in preselected areas stratified by walkability, air pollution and socioeconomic status are being recruited in Melbourne (Australia), Barcelona (Spain) and Hong Kong (China) (n=1800 total; 600 per site). Two assessments taken 24 months apart will capture changes in brain and cognitive health. Cognitive function is gauged with a battery of eight standardised tests. Brain health is assessed using MRI scans in a subset of participants. Information on participants' visited locations is collected via an interactive web-based mapping application and smartphone geolocation data. Environmental characteristics of visited locations, including the built and natural environments and their by-products (e.g., air pollution), are assessed using geographical information systems, online environmental audits and self-reports. Data on travel and lifestyle behaviours (e.g., physical and social activities) and participants' characteristics (e.g., sociodemographics) are collected using objective and/or self-report measures.The study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Australian Catholic University, the Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong and the Parc de Salut Mar Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Government of Catalonia. Results will be communicated through standard scientific channels. Methods will be made freely available via a study-dedicated website.ACTRN12619000817145.
Journal BMJ OPEN
ISSN 2044-6055
Published 18 Mar 2020
Volume 10
Issue 3
Pages e036607
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036607
Type Journal Article