Czech Brain Aging Study
CBAS is a longitudinal, observational study on aging and dementia from two large centers in the Czech Republic combining clinical care and clinical research.

About CBAS

The pilot project leading to the pilot data for the Czech Brain Aging Study (CBAS) was established in 2005 as a longitudinal follow-up of subjects at risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia. A major step forward occurred in 2011 after receiving a substantial funding from the European Union Regional Development fund and the Czech Ministry of Health. This funding enabled to establish the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) in Brno and also enabled to synchronize our efforts in clinical and translational research between the ICRC and the Cognitive Center at Department of Neurology of the Motol University Hospital in Prague.

CBAS now recruits a large numbers of participants across the two sites and is the only longitudinal study of its kind in the Czech Republic. It is also about to become the largest study to study risk factors for AD in Central and Eastern Europe.

Participants undergo annual follow-up with clinical evaluations, multimodality brain MRI, comprehensive standardized neuropsychological testing including “challenging” memory tests aimed to detect early cognitive decline and laboratory examination. The APOE, TOMM40 and BDNF genotyping is done at baseline. In a subset of participants, CSF and/or amyloid PET is performed. The majority of participants also undergo a unique translational, experimental neuropsychological protocol that has been inspired by animal research. This protocol consists of various tasks aiming to detect early cognitive and clinical impairment in AD spectrum. The strong translational aspect of this approach, which includes the use of the human analogue of the Morris Water Maze, is aimed at the identification of individuals at preclinical and prodromal stages of AD. Biological sample bank (DNA, CSF and plasma) matched with the CBAS clinical data is also a part of CBAS.

From a biological point of view, one aim of the CBAS is to biochemically characterize the subjects affected by AD Dementia and related memory disorders. The search for new biomarkers has expanded in the last years in the attempt to characterize the disease stage and/or predict the disease course. Our view is that single measurement of biomarkers in plasma, serum or cerebrospinal fluid has been shown to be not sufficient per se and must be corroborated with combined biomarker measurements. At this regard, we are working on expanding the number of measurable biomarkers by including proteins related to the neuronal activity in the CNS, such as neurotrophic factors, enzymes regulating protein expression, and proteins related to neuronal/synaptic function, such as neurofilament light protein, neurogranin and contactin-2.

What We Do

  • Collect biological samples for genetic and biochemical analysis (CSF, serum, DNA)

  • Assess the participants using neuropsychological and cognitive evaluations using our standardized clinical and experimental protocols

  • Perform brain MRI for the longitudinal study of brain atrophy, white matter changes and changes in the brain diffusivity. In subset, resting state fMRI is performed.

  • Mentor PhD students and postdocs; encourage internships and personnel exchange (experimental neuropsychology, spatial navigation, imaging)

  • Provide clinical and cognitive assessments for both, clinical research and diagnostic purpose

  • Conduct non-pharmacological interventions such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Therapy

Our objective is to describe the changes in the cognition over time, brain structure (using MRI), metabolism (cerebro-spinal fluid analysis) and molecular imaging (amyloid PET). Our focus is on those with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy elderly participants - a CBAS cohort. We are also interested in participants with various neurodegenerative dementia syndromes and vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) - a CBAS plus cohort. Our spectrum of diagnoses includes Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson disease, progressive aphasias, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, vascular cognitive impairment and others.

The information on participants is entered into CBAS database that contains clinical, laboratory, genetic, socioeconomic and life style variables.


Cognitive Center, Department of Neurology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and Motol University Hospital in Prague

Motol hospital is the largest hospital in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. Our team affiliated with the hospital and Charles University in Prague specializes in the clinical research in the field of cognitive and behavioral neurology, including neuroepidemiology of neurodegenerative disorders leading to various dementia syndromes. Cognitive Center has been a member of the European Alzheimer Disease Consortium (EADC) since 2017, and we are currently joining join the European Medical Information Framework (EMIF) and we are a part of the prestigious Global Alzheimer’s Association Interactive Network (GAAIN).

International Clinical Research Center at the St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno (FNUSA-ICRC)

FNUSA-ICRC is a medical research centre within St. Anne´s University Hospital in Brno, a major healthcare center in the Moravia region of the Czech Republic. Our Brno team specializes in the research of lifestyle as a risk/protective factors of dementia and on non-pharmacological interventions in prevention of memory decline. Because of our experience in delivering high-quality data, rapid study start-up,and an access to substantial patient populations, ICRC Memory Center is a Quintiles/IQUIA Prime Site, and is a part of ECRIN European clinical esearch infrastructure network.


Prof. Jakub Hort

PI of the Czech Brain Aging Study

Prof. Jan Laczó

Head of the Laboratory of spatial cognition

Assoc. Prof. Martin Vyhnálek

Head of the neuropsychology core

Zuzana Nedelská

Head of imaging and Lewy body disease projects

Kateřina Sheardová

Medical director of Brno site

Daniel Hudeček

Geriatrician, clinical assessment

Rafal Marciniak

Head of neuropsychology

Rastislav Šumec

Mindfulness, neuroimaging

Selected Publications

  • LACZÓ, M., L. MARTINKOVIC, O. LERCH, J. M. WIENER, ET AL. (2022). Different Profiles of Spatial Navigation Deficits In Alzheimer's Disease Biomarker-Positive Versus Biomarker-Negative Older Adults With Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment.. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 14 (): .
  • LACZÓ, M., O. LERCH, L. MARTINKOVIC, J. KALINOVA, ET AL. (2021). Spatial Pattern Separation Testing Differentiates Alzheimer's Disease Biomarker-Positive and Biomarker-Negative Older Adults With Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment.. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 13 (): .
  • SHEARDOVA, K., VYHNALEK, M., NEDELSKA, Z., LACZÓ, J., ET AL. (2019). Czech Brain Aging Study (CBAS): prospective multicentre cohort study on risk and protective factors for dementia in the Czech Republic.. BMJ Open 9 (12): .
  • HEY, J. A., P. KOCIS, J. HORT, S. ABUSHAKRA, ET AL. (Sep 2018). Discovery and Identification of an Endogenous Metabolite of Tramiprosate and Its Prodrug ALZ-801 that Inhibits Beta Amyloid Oligomer Formation in the Human Brain.. CNS Drugs 32 (9): 849-861.
  • COUGHLAN, G., J. LACZO, J. HORT, A. M. MINIHANE, ET AL. (Aug 2018). Spatial navigation deficits - overlooked cognitive marker for preclinical Alzheimer disease?. Nature Reviews Neurology 14 (8): 496-506.
  • NEDELSKA, Z., R. ANDEL, J. LACZO, K. VLCEK, ET AL. (Feb 2012). Spatial navigation impairment is proportional to right hippocampal volume.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109 (7): 2590-2594.

International Collaboration

Contact Us

LinkedIn: czech-brain-aging-study

Check also our Wikipedia page!


Prague Team

Cognitive center, Department of Neurology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine
Charles University and Motol University hospital

V Úvalu 84, 150 06, Praha 5 - Motol, Czech Republic

Jsme ve 2. patře, výtah D

How To Find Us

Site Coordinator

Vlaďka Fulínová
phone: +420224436809

Principal Investigator

Prof. MUDr. Jakub Hort, PhD.
Twitter: @CzechAgeing
DLB (Lewy body disease) projects:

Brno Team

Memory Center ICRC, Department of Neurology
St. Anne’s University Hospital

Pekařská 53, 656 91 Brno, Czech Republic


How To Find Us

Site Coordinator

PhDr. Daria Hudspeth
phone: +420604227160

Medical director of Brno site