Professor of Public Health Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care in the University of Cambridge.
Director of Cambridge Public Health
Carol is a medically qualified epidemiologist and public health academic. She has pioneered the study of dementia in population.
Carol graduated in medicine from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (University of London) and went on to train in general medicine. After gaining membership of the Royal College of Physicians she worked as a junior doctor at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. With a Training Fellowship from the Medical Research Council, she studied epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her higher degree (MD) focused on ageing and dementia (University of London).
Since the mid-80s Carol’s principal area of research has been longitudinal studies of the health of older people, with a focus on the brain, from a public health perspective. This included pioneering work bringing biology to populations including the creation of brain banks for medical research from population studies.
After joining the University of Cambridge, Carol became lead principal investigator in the MRC CFAS study. A longitudinal multicentre study, it has examined cognitive function and health in older people since the late 80s. Its results have informed national policy and now underpin our wider understanding of dementia: showing it can occur without the expected changes in brain pathology and that such changes, when they do occur, do not invariably lead to dementia. And that, age for age, dementia is less common than it was 30 years ago.
Alongside her Directorship of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Carol holds the position of Faculty of Public Health, Academic & Research Committee Chair, Royal College of Physicians’ Special Advisor, NIHR Senior Investigator, SPHR member PI, CLAHRC theme lead and co-chair of the Alzheimer’s Society Research Strategy Council.
She also leads The Public Health of Ageing Research Unit, an involved team of specialised dementia researchers whose work includes specific risk reduction trials, studies of ageing and technology, age-friendly cities, plus the impact of ageing and dementia in the populations of low and middle-income countries.
A fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Carol was listed among the highest cited scholars in the world across all disciplines in 2018 and awarded a CBE for services to public health medicine in the Queen’s 2017 Honours.
Selected Recent Publications
Brayne C. Dementia research 2018: current and future population relevance. Lancet Neurology. 2019. 18(1):3-5.
van Dalen JW, van Wanrooij LL, van Charante EP, Brayne C, van Gool WA, Richard E. Association of apathy with risk of incident dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018. 75(10):1012-21.
Bennett HQ, Norton S, Bunn F, Robinson L, Rait G, Goodman C, Brayne C, Matthews FE. The impact of dementia on service use by individuals with a comorbid health condition: a comparison of two cross-sectional analyses conducted approximately 10 years apart. BMC Medicine. 2018. 16(1):114.
Dorsey ER, Elbaz A, Nichols E, Abd-Allah F, Abdelalim A, Adsuar JC, Ansha MG, Brayne C, Choi JY, Collado-Mateo D, Dahodwala N. Global, regional, and national burden of Parkinson’s disease, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. 2016. The Lancet Neurology. 2018. 17(11):939-53.
Wilkinson T, Ly A, Schnier C, Rannikmäe K, Bush K, Brayne C, Quinn TJ, Sudlow CL, Group UB. Identifying dementia cases with routinely collected health data: A systematic review. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2018. 14(8):1038-51.
Smailagic N, Lafortune L, Kelly S, Hyde C, Brayne C. 18F-FDG PET for Prediction of Conversion to Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia in People with Mild Cognitive Impairment: An Updated Systematic Review of Test Accuracy. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2018. 64(4):1175-94.
Le Couteur DG, Bateman B, Brayne C. Idalopirdine: another disappointment for people with dementia. BMJ. 2018. 360:k753.
Hunter S, Brayne C. Understanding the roles of mutations in the amyloid precursor protein in Alzheimer disease. Molecular Psychiatry. 2018. 23(1):81.
Hokkanen SR, Hunter S, Polvikoski TM, Keage HA, Minett T, Matthews FE, Brayne C, MRC CFAS and CC75C Study Group. Hippocampal sclerosis, hippocampal neuron loss patterns and TDP‐43 in the aged population. Brain Pathology. 2018. 28(4):548-59.
Brayne C. Interpretation of dementia diagnosis and treatment trends in the UK over time. The Lancet Public Health. 2017. 2(3):e128-9.
Rooney JP, Brayne C, Tobin K, Logroscino G, Glymour MM, Hardiman O. Benefits, pitfalls, and future design of population-based registers in neurodegenerative disease. Neurology. 2017. 88(24):2321-9.
Brayne C, Miller B. Dementia and aging populations—A global priority for contextualized research and health policy. PLoS Medicine. 2017. 14(3):e1002275.
Wu YT, Beiser AS, Breteler MM, Fratiglioni L, Helmer C, Hendrie HC, Honda H, Ikram MA, Langa KM, Lobo A, Matthews FE, Ohara T, Pérès K, Qiu K, Seshadri S, Sjölund B-M, Skoog I, Brayne C. The changing prevalence and incidence of dementia over time – current evidence. Nature Reviews Neurology. 2017. 13(6):327.
Davis DH, Muniz-Terrera G, Keage HA, Stephan BC, Fleming J, Ince PG, Matthews FE, Cunningham C, Ely EW, MacLullich AM, Brayne C. Association of delirium with cognitive decline in late life: a neuropathologic study of 3 population-based cohort studies. JAMA psychiatry. 2017. 74(3):244-51.
Remes O, Lafortune L, Khaw KT, Brayne C. Sex and gender in psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2017. 4(2):e1.
Deckers K, Camerino I, Van Boxtel MP, Verhey FR, Irving K, Brayne C, Kivipelto M, Starr JM, Yaffe K, de Leeuw PW, Köhler S. Dementia risk in renal dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Neurology. 2017. 88(2):198-208.
GBD 2015 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators. Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 2016. 388(10053):1459-544.
Brayne C. Reflections on cohort studies, life course and research into ageing. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2016. 45(4):971-2.
Wharton SB, Minett T, Drew D, Forster G, Matthews F, Brayne C, Ince PG. Epidemiological pathology of Tau in the ageing brain: application of staging for neuropil threads (BrainNet Europe protocol) to the MRC cognitive function and ageing brain study. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2016. 4(1):11.
Wu YT, Fratiglioni L, Matthews FE, Lobo A, Breteler MM, Skoog I, Brayne C. Dementia in western Europe: epidemiological evidence and implications for policy making. The Lancet Neurology. 2016. 15(1):116-24.
Leng Y, Cappuccio FP, Wainwright NW, Surtees PG, Luben R, Brayne C, Khaw KT. Sleep duration and risk of fatal and nonfatal stroke: a prospective study and meta-analysis. Neurology. 2015. 84(11):1072-9.
Bennett DA, Brayne C, Feigin VL, Barker-Collo S, Brainin M, Davis D, Gallo V, Jetté N, Karch A, Kurtzke JF, Lavados PM. Development of the Standards of Reporting of Neurological Disorders (STROND) checklist A guideline for the reporting of incidence and prevalence studies in neuroepidemiology. Neurology. 2015. 85(9):821-8.
Wharton SB, Simpson JE, Brayne C, Ince PG. Age‐associated white matter lesions: the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. Brain Pathology. 2015. 25(1):35-43.
Stephan BC, Minett T, Muniz Terrera G, Matthews FE, Brayne C. Dementia prediction for people with stroke in populations: is mild cognitive impairment a useful concept?. Age and Ageing. 2014. 44(1):78-83.