Sleep, ageing and neurodegenerative disease: optimising sleep for a healthy brain and mind

Presenter: Professor Sharon Naismith, University of Sydney

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About the presentation

Although sleep-wake systems change with normal ageing, these changes appear to be even more pronounced with preclinical and clinical neurodegenerative diseases, and recent work suggests that there may be a powerful bidirectional relationship between the two. This presentation will provide an overview of the types of sleep complaints seen in older people particularly those at risk for dementia, how they are linked to cognitive concerns and to various neuroimaging markers. The talk will conclude with a discussion of potential mechanisms and treatment targets.

About the presenter

Professor Sharon Naismith is a Clinical Neuropsychologist, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Dementia Leadership Fellow and holds the Leonard P Ullman Chair in Psychology at the University of Sydney. Her work focuses on the mechanisms by which modifiable risk factors for dementia such as depression, sleep disturbance, and cardiovascular disease impact brain health and how to best treat them. In her 15 postdoctoral years, she has co-authored more than 294 papers and has been cited >13,500 times (h index = 65).  Her work has led to new discoveries regarding key brain changes that underpin sleep disturbance and depression in older people and how these can be treated and her cognitive interventions have been translated into clinical practice. She is Chief Investigator on competitive grants totalling ~$31 million. She leads national initiatives within Sydney as well as the Memory Clinics Initiative of the Australia Dementia Network. She Heads the NHMRC ‘Centre of Research Excellence to Optimise Sleep in Brain Ageing and Neurodegeneration (CogSleep)' and is Vice Chair of the Alzheimer’s Association International Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Professional Interest Area.

Further information: [email protected]

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