Associate Professor Mathew Summers, a member of the Discipline of Psychology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, is an AHPRA registered and endorsed Clinical Neuropsychologist and member of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Mathew was appointed to the 2018 Australian Research Council (ARC) Excellence in Research (ERA) Medical and Health Sciences Research Evaluation Committee (REC).
Mathew leads Aging and Dementia research within the Discipline of Psychology; a core area of need for the Sunshine Coast community. The research centre led by Mathew encompasses four key themes for research activity and engagement with the Sunshine Coast community, and as of December 2019 has attracted in excess of A$8.2 million in research funding and has led to 60 publications:
- Diagnosis – Two prospective longitudinal cohort studies resulted in diagnosis of preclinical dementia more than 2 years prior to dementia onset with >84% accuracy. This research has recently been expanded to incorporate biomarker methods to further increase diagnostic accuracy of preclinical stages of dementia,
- Prevention – evidence based studies of enhancement of function in healthy older adults to prevent age-related cognitive decline (ARCD) and dementia. Mathew is co-project leader of the NHMRC funded Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project, a world-first prospective longitudinal project examining the potential of late life education to prevent ARCD and dementia. In addition, he is leading research investigating the link between cardiovascular diseases and dementia to reduce dementia risk.
- Intervention – evidence-based studies of non-pharmacological methods to treat dementia and pre-clinical dementia syndromes. Mathew is Lead and Principal Investigator of an NHMRC and EU HORIZON2020 funded multinational collaborative project to detect and treat pre-frailty conditions in community residing older adults (my-AHA project). This project will ICT based systems to identify and treat frailty in community residing older adults to reduce need for residential care facilities. He also leads a research project examining the potential of non-pharmacological interventions (mindfulness and computer-based cognitive training) to enhance core cognitive functions in older adults. The results of this study will lead to future clinical trials in patients with mild cognitive impairment and early stage dementia.
- Quality of Life (QoL) – evidence based examination of methods to enhance the quality of life of dementia sufferers in secure aged-care facilities. Emerging research collaborations with local aged care providers have been developed to research the effect of facility design and environment factors on quality of life and quality of care of residents in secure dementia care facilities.
Follow Mathew at these other sites:
- Registered Psychologist, Clinical Neuropsychology endorsed (Psychology Board of Australia)
- Member of the Australian Psychological Society
- Member of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists
- Member of the International Neuropsychological Society
- Member of the American Psychological Association
- Member of the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment (ISTAART)
- Member of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) Translational Research Faculty
Stefanidis, K.B., Askew, C.D., Greaves, K., & Summers, M.J. (2018). The effect of non-stroke cardiovascular disease states on risk for cognitive decline and dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychology Review, 28(1), 1-15. doi: 10.1007/s11065-017-9359-z.
Isbel, B., & Summers, M.J. (2017). Distinguishing the cognitive processes of mindfulness: Developing a standardised mindfulness technique for use in longitudinal randomised control trials. Consciousness and Cognition, 52, 75-92. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2017.04.019
Summers, M.J., Madl, T., Vercelli, A.E., Aumayr, G., Bleier, D.M., & Ciferri, L. (2017). Deep machine learning application to the detection of preclinical neurodegenerative diseases of aging. DigitCult: Scientific Journal on Digital Cultures, 2 (2), 9-24. doi: 10.4399/97888255088952.
Summers, M.J., Thow, M.E., Ward, D.D., Saunders, N.L., Klekociuk, S.Z., Imlach, A-R., Summers, J.J., & Vickers, J.C. (2017). Validation of a dynamic measure of current cognitive reserve in a longitudinally assessed sample of healthy older adults: The Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project. Assessment, advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1073191116685806.
Thow, M.E., Summers, M.J., Saunders, N.L., Summers, J.J., Ritchie, K., & Vickers, J.C. (2018). Further education improves cognitive reserve and triggers improvement in selective cognitive functions in older adults: The Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 10, 22-30. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2017.08.004
Weissberger, G.H., Strong, J.V., Stefanidis, K.B., Summers, M.J., Bondi, M.W., & Stricker, N.H. (2017). Diagnostic accuracy of memory measures in Alzheimer’s dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychology Review, 27(4), 354-388. doi: 10.1007/s11065-017-9360-6.
Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students
- Influence of exercise on cognitive function
- Neuropsychological aspects of dementia and preclinical stages of dementia
- Healthy aging – cognitive and neuropsychological aspects
|Grant/Project name||Investigators||Funding body||Year(s)||Focus|
|my-AHA: My active and healthy aging||Summers, M.J. & Smith, S.||NHMRC-European Union Project Grant (APP1115818) (A$496,081.20)||2016–2019||Early risk detection and intervention for age-related frailty|
|The Tasmanian Health Brain Project: A longitudinal intervention study to reduce the risk of ageing-related cognitive decline and dementia||Vickers, J.C, Summers, M.J., Valenzuela, M.J., Summers, J.J., King, A., Robinson, A., & Srikanth, V.||NHMRC Project Grant (APP1108794) (A$878,790.50)||2016–2020||A longitudinal intervention study to reduce the risk of ageing-related cognitive decline and dementia|
|My active and healthy ageing (HORIZON2020-PHC-21-2015: Advancing active and healthy ageing with ICT: Early risk detection and intervention)||Vercelli, A., Rainero, I., Rocca, P., Isaia, G. ... Summers, M.J. & Smith, S.||European Commission Research Consortium grant (A$6,890,572)||2016–2020||ICT-based intervention for frailty|
|Assessing cognitive impairment in cardiovascular patients: Predictive assessment of dementia related microvascular brain disease||Summers, M.J., Greaves, K., & Klekociuk, S.Z.||Wishlist Sunshine Coast Health Foundation (A$19,668)||2015–2017||Cognitive screening of cardiovascular patients|
|The Healthy Brain Project: A prospective cohort study to examine how later-life university education may affect the trajectory of ageing-related cognitive decline||Vickers, J., Summers, M.J., Valenzuela, M., Summers, J.J., Ritchie, K., & Robinson, A||NHMRC Project Grant (APP1003645) (A$1,031,442)||2011–2016|
|A phase 1b, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel group study of the safety, tolerability, preliminary efficacy and pharmacodynamics of BTD-001 in young adults and adolescents with Down Syndrome||Summers, M.J. & Strong, J.||Research Consultancy, Novotech (Australia Pty Ltd) (A$90,120)||2013|
|Evaluation of a multidimensional cognitive enhancement training program for healthy older adults||Summers, J.J., Elder, S.J., Summers, M.J., & Vickers, J.C.||ARC Linkage Grant (LP0991044) (A$327,583)||2009–2011|
|The role of the ApoE gene in cognitive performance following traumatic brain injury||
|Cradle Coast Cross Boundary Research Fund $2,460||2010|
|Neuromotor and neuropsychological assessment of staff in Groote Eylandt: Phase II||Summers, J.J., Hannan, G.J. & Summers, M.J.||Research Consultancy, Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) ($68,692)||2008|
|Study of Tasmanian Outcomes in Intensive Care (STOIC – Pilot Study) and (STOIC-2) 24 month follow up||Marsden, K., Summers, M.J., Turner, A., Bell, T., & Beswick, A.||Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation Grant (06-346S/08-369) (A$13,773)||2008|
|Summers, J.J., Hannan, G.J., Summers, M.J., & McLean, S.R.||ARC Linkage Grant (LP0455174) (A$185,301)||2004–2007|
|Neural correlates of performance trade-offs and interference in dual-task performance||Summers, J.J., Martin, F., Temprado, J.J., & Summers, M.J.||ARC Discovery Grant (DP0451217) (A$200,000)||2004–2007|
|Neuromotor and neuropsychological assessment of staff in Groote Eylandt||Summers, J.J., Hannan, G.J., & Summers, M.J.||Research Consultancy, Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) (A$68,750)||2006|
|A study of Tasmanian Outcomes in Intensive Care (STOIC) pilot Study||Marsden, K., Turner, A., Summers, M.J., Bell, T., Beswick, A., & Trubody, V.||Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation Grant (06-346S/08-369) (A$15,000)||2006|
|Event-related potentials (ERP) as a diagnostic tool of attention dysfunction in closed head injury||Summers, M.J. & Martin, F.||MAIB Injury Prevention and Management Foundation research grant (A$130,007)||2003–2006|
|Effects of resistance exercise in a gym on physiological and cognitive functioning in older adults||Skilbeck, C.E., Ball, M.J., Williams, A., Martin, F., Summers, J.J., & Summers, M.J.||University of Tasmania Institutional Research Grant Scheme (A$17,000)||2004|
|The long-term effects of low exposures to manganese dust and fume on neuromuscular and psychological functioning: A longitudinal approach||Summers, J.J, Hannan, G.J. & Summers, M.J.||Research Consultancy, Tasmanian Electrometallurgical Company (TEMCO) (A$36,364)||2004|
|Inattentional blindness: The effects of frontal lobe damage||Summers, M.J.||MAIB Injury Prevention and Management Foundation (A$9,856)||2002|
|Portable ERP machine purchase||Summers, M.J. & Martin, F.||UTAS Faculty of Science & Engineering Major Equipment Grant (A$83,250)||2002|
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Minds and technology meet in $496,000 study
Two University of the Sunshine Coast academics renowned for their work in neuropsychology and interactive health technology have won a prestigious Australian Government grant worth $496,000 to find new ways to help older people stay in their homes rather than care facilities.
What will the Sunshine Coast look like in 2030?
A free public seminar that will provide insights into what the Sunshine Coast could look like in 15 years’ time will be held on Thursday 16 July as part of USC's annual Research Week.