The Ageing Brain Program Research Opportunities
The Ageing Brain Program aims to provide comprehensive insights into diseases of the brain and mind affecting older people and incorporates multifaceted assessment techniques including brain imaging, neuropsychology, psychiatry, neurology, lifestyle, sleep and genetics. It also conducts trials that seek to determine the efficacy of novel interventions for mood, movement and cognition.
With the rapidly ageing population, diseases that affect the brain including depression and dementia are increasing. While there are no known 'cures' for some neurodegenenerative diseases such as Alzheimers, a large body of research demonstrates that there are some 'modifiable' risk factors of cognitive decline and depression in later life. The Healthy Brain Ageing Program at the BMRI aims to apply the principles of early intervention for cognitive decline by targeting these 'modifiable' risk factors. Modifiable risk factors include vascular risk factors (e.g., high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol), lifestyle risks (e.g., exercise, diet, cognitive activity) as well as changes in mood and sleep.
The Healthy Brain Ageing Program now focuses on whether early intervention programs targeting these risk factors are effective at reducing cognitive decline, depression and underlying brain changes that are associated with dementia. The Program incorporates a number of clinical and public health studies including:
- Cognitive Training: A comprehensive cognitive training program for older ‘at risk’ people with mood or early memory changes
- Sleep-wake disturbance: An evaluation of the effects of circadian and sleep disturbance on cognitive decline in older people with depression and mild cognitive impairment.
- Internet interventions: An evaluation of an internet intervention for depression for participants in the 45 and Up study who have cardiovascular disease
- Pharmacological interventions: An evaluation of the preventative capacity for omega-3 and antidepressants to reduce cognitive decline and brain changes in older ‘at risk’ people.
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The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1203
Other opportunities with Associate Professor Sharon Naismith