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The Australian National University
DYNOPTA - Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing
ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment


PERSONALITY and total health through life (PATH)

The Personality And Total Health (PATH) Through Life Project is a 20-year longitudinal study of 7 500 adults in the Canberra and Queanbeyan area. The three age cohorts (20-24, 40-44 and 60-64) were first interviewed in 1999, 2000 and 2001 respectively. The PATH Project aims to investigate the three classes of common mental health problems:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Alcohol and other substance abuse
  • Cognitive functioning and dementia.

The project investigates three broad themes that are relevant to each of these problems:

  • Ageing versus cohort effects
  • Social, psychological, nutritional and genetic risk factors
  • Co-morbidity of mental health problems.

Measurements include physical testing and memory tests, cheek swabs for genetic analysis, and neurocognitive assessments and MRI scans. PATH examined the types of factors that were associated with young adults aged 20-24 visiting GPs, by linking sociodemographic and health data with Medicare records of GP visits. The impact of pet ownership on health and health service use by adults aged 40-44 was also examined.

Funding is provided by a NHMRC Program Grant and the Rotary Health Research Fund. Sub-studies have been funded by the NHMRC, CSIRO and Brewer's Association.

DYNOPTA Chief Investigator: DYNOPTA Associate Investigators:


For more information about this study, please visit the study website: