Topics of interest & Current work
The work in our lab aims to better understand brain changes in adults and seniors. We focus on psychiatric conditions that may increase risk for cognitive decline, or mask, mimic or alter signs of dementia. Currently, we have a particular interest in how ADHD and bipolar disorder impact brain health across the adult lifespan and into later life. We use a variety of tools to answer three major questions, outlined below.
What causes cognitive decline?
Determining why someone is experiencing changes in their thinking skills is necessary to choose appropriate treatments and estimate how things will progress over time. In adults and older adults with psychiatric conditions, we aim to distinguish abnormal cognitive changes (i.e., that may indicate dementia) from those that are a normal part of the psychiatric condition.
How do psychiatric brains age?
Currently, it's unclear how psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder or ADHD might affect the aging process. Our lab explores how age-related changes in these individuals relate to those seen in healthy aging and dementia.
What are the best tools to measure cognition?
When testing a person's brain health, neuropsychologists routinely use standard tests to measure thinking skills such as memory and language. However, these tools may not necessarily be appropriate for testing adults or seniors with psychiatric disorders. Our lab is working to develop new tools to better serve these individuals.