Dr Heidi Foo, PhD: 2021
Genetic and environmental influences on the brain functional networks in older adults
As humans age, the functional organisation of their brain networks undergoes complex changes that are associated with observed changes in cognition. Both genetics and the environment play a crucial role in influencing the changes in the network topology of the ageing brain. However, to date, there is a paucity of population-based studies investigating the contributions of age, genetic and environmental factors, and disease-states on functional brain networks. Therefore, in my thesis I aimed to look into how these factors affect the human brain functional network integrity in older adults using the UK Biobank data.
I am thankful to my supervisory team, Professor Perminder Sachdev, Dr Anbu Thalamuthu, Associate Professor Wei Wen, Dr Jiyang Jiang, and Dr Karen Mather, for their insightful feedback and guidance. I am also grateful to my CHeBA colleagues for their emotional support throughout my PhD.
Dr Sophie Chen, PhD: 2021
The relationship between dietary patterns and neurocognitive health among older adults
Diet may be a promising strategy to postpone, slow or prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia. My thesis investigated the important question as to whether, and how effective, different types of dietary patterns and related food groups are in protecting against neurocognitive decline in older adults.
I am so thankful to have been able to undertake my PhD in CHeBA and DCRC- where I have received incredible academic guidance, constant support, and great encouragement to strive for my best as a researcher and clinician.
Dr Yue Liu, PhD: 2020
Contribution of cerebrovascular and Alzheimer-type pathology in the aetiology of neurocognitive disorders
Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease are the two most prevalent causes of dementia. However, the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia remains incompletely understood. Combined vascular and Alzheimer’s disease pathology is the leading cause of dementia in the very old. My thesis explored the association and interaction between cerebrovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease pathology/dementia from the perspectives of plasma lipid profiles, imaging biomarkers, post-mortem pathology, and animal models.
The great supervision and assistance I received at CHeBA inspired me to continue exploring the nature of dementia in the future.
Associate Professor Anne Wand, PhD: Understanding self-harm in the very old: A qualitative study with implications for clinical care and wider society
Xi (Sophie) Chen, Masters by Research: The relationship of diet to neurocognitive health
Dr Matthew Lennon, Masters by Research: Risk and preventive factors in Dementia – An international harmonization of longitudinal studies
Dr Anne-Nicole Casey, PhD: The Friendship and Relationship Interactions in the Elderly Networks Description (FRIEND) Study
Dr Tharusha Jayasena, PhD: The roles of sirtuins and polyphenols in brain ageing and neurodegeneration
Dr Claire O'Connor, PhD: Understanding behaviour and function in frontotemporal dementia: developing better intervention approaches
Dr Alistair Perry, PhD: Brain networks in healthy ageing and psychiatric conditions
Dr Yue Liu, Masters by Research: Using fluid biomarkers to examine the relationship between CVD and AD pathologies
Dr Zixuan (Sophie) Yang, PhD: Structural MRI in late life with a special focus on the oldest old
Dr Anne-Nicole Casey, PhD: The Friendship and Relationship Interactions in the Elderly Networks Description (FRIEND) study