The University of Tasmania Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre is conducting a world-first study on the potential for tertiary education later in life to protect against ageing-related cognitive decline and dementia.
Previous studies have shown that tertiary education early in life protects the brain from dementia at later ages. It may be that further education strengthens the brain by enhancing the ‘cognitive reserve’ needed to withstand the effects of ageing related pathology in the brain.
Our study is the first to determine whether tertiary education later in life may have a protective effect on the brain in terms of decreasing cognitive decline associated with ageing and potentially lowering the risk of developing dementia.
In its second year, this project currently has more than 300 participants, studying at UTAS and undergoing annual cognitive assessments to provide valuable data for this research. We have recently extended the study to examine how genes related to brain function may affect how we learn later in life, and if they may predict how people respond to this form of complex mental stimulation.
|Prof James VICKERS||WDREC Co-Director (Group Leader)|
|Dr Mathew SUMMERS||WDREC Research Associate (Contact)|
|Dr Michael VALENZUELA||Research Fellow, UNSW|
|Prof Jeffery SUMMERS||Professor, School of Psychology|
|Prof Karen RITCHIE (PDF 170.4 KB)||Research Director, INSERM (France)|
|Associate Prof Tracey Dickson||Senior Research Fellow (Menzies)|
|Prof Andrew ROBINSON||Professor of Aged Care Nursing|