|dc.contributor.author||Elcombe, Emma Leonie Marion||-|
|dc.description.abstract||With Australia’s ageing population and the increasing number of people diagnosed with dementia, understanding the factors that may delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia is increasingly important. This thesis encompasses various methodologies including magnetic resonance imaging, detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment and a cognitive intervention to assess participant’s levels of cognition, modifiable risk factors and hippocampal structure. The hippocampus, an area of the brain often affected early in the progress of disease, is a key area of interest in this work due to its capacity to undergo neurogenesis. This thesis examines the relationships between volumetric changes of the hippocampus in relation to ageing, cognitive decline and lifestyle factors in elderly persons ‘at risk’ of dementia.
Results showed that smaller hippocampal volumes were associated with poorer sleep efficiency, diabetes, diastolic blood pressure and longer-term untreated depression. Further investigation into the effects of a cognitive training program found that hippocampal volume change over the 2-month intervention program was associated with participant’s levels of general functioning, global cognition, depressive symptom burden and measures of cognitive reserve.
The findings within this thesis demonstrate that a wide range of modifiable risk factors are associated with hippocampal volume and highlight that through the modification of risk and protective factors, hippocampal neurogenic and neuroplastic processes may be altered. Further research utilising other imaging modalities may give insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms by which these factors operate, and may provide a deeper understanding of how these factors contribute to neurogenesis or neurodegeneration. At the primary prevention level, further prospective studies examining these modifiable risk factors in mid-life may help to generate targeted early intervention programs for cognitive decline and dementia.||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||University of Sydney||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||Sydney Medical School||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||Discipline of Brain and Mind Sciences (Brain and Mind Centre)||en_AU|
|dc.rights||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.||en_AU|
|dc.title||Hippocampal volume in older persons ‘at risk’ of dementia: Relationships with cognitive function and modifiable risk factors||en_AU|
|dc.type.pubtype||Master of Philosophy M.Phil||en_AU|
|dc.description.disclaimer||Access is restricted to staff and students of the University of Sydney . UniKey credentials are required. Non university access may be obtained by visiting the University of Sydney Library.||en_AU|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|