Aging and dementia

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Aging and dementia

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The Aging and Dementia research has four key themes for research activity and engagement with the Sunshine Coast community.

1. Diagnosis

Two longitudinal cohort studies resulted in diagnosis of preclinical dementia more than two years prior to dementia onset, with more than an 84 percent accuracy. This research is currently being expanded upon at the Thompson Institute to incorporate biomarker methods to further increase diagnostic accuracy or preclinical stages of dementia.

2. Prevention

Evidence-based studies of better function in healthy older adults to prevent age-related cognitive decline (ARCD) and dementia.

  • The Tasmania Healthy Brain Project is looking at education in older adults to prevent ARCD (co-project lead NHMRC funded).
  • Research investigating link between cardiovascular disease and dementia to reduce dementia risk is also being undertaken.

3. Intervention

Evidence-based studies of non-pharmacological methods to treat dementia and pre-clinical dementia syndromes.

  • Researching mindfulness training in older adults to prevent age-related cognitive decline.
  • The My Active and Health Ageing (My-AHA). Detection and prevention of frailty using in home ICT for community-residing older adults.

4. Quality of life 

Evidence-based examination of methods to enhance the quality of life (QoL) of dementia suffers 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.

Research Contact

Associate Professor Mathew Summers, Associate Professor of Neuropsychology and Mental Health

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