Cognitive Ability Pathways Study

The “Cognitive Ability Pathways” study examines whether people who have experienced a minor neurological event have greater risk of cognitive decline than other people their age.

This new collaboration between clinicians and brain researchers will allow us to identify areas of cognition affected by minor neurological events and design interventions to improve outcomes.

Why is the project being done?

Some people who experience a transient or minor neurological event (event affecting their nervous system) may be at increased risk of losing their memory or not being able to think clearly with increasing age. At this stage, we don’t know why this may happen to some people but not others. This research will be conducted to try to determine why this is the case. To understand these factors, we must compare the effects of people who have had a neurological event to healthy individuals.

Who can participate in the research?

We are seeking healthy participants with no or low cardiovascular risk factors to act as control participants in this research. Cardiovascular risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Control participants will then be compared to the individuals who have experienced a transient or minor neurological event.

Who can participate?

Healthy volunteers can participate in the study, if they:

  1. Have not had a transient or minor neurological event or any other event affecting their nervous system
  2. Have no or low cardiovascular risk factors (eg. high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity)
  3. Are over 50 years

What is involved in volunteering for the study?

Phone interview – approximately 1hr

  • A researcher will call you to complete a brief initial interview. You will be asked about your health, medications and quality of life. 
  • This phone interview will be recorded and will be deleted once reviewed.

Appointment at HMRI building – approximately 3-3.5hrs. Free parking available.

You will be invited to visit the HMRI to complete a battery of cognitive and physical measures, such as:

  • We will first take physical measurements (e.g., height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate) and ask you to complete some cognitive tests on an iPad to assess memory and attention (30min).
  • After a break and refreshments, you will complete an attention task on a computer while we record the electrical activity of your brain (electroencephalogram, EEG) using an electrode cap (1-1.5 hours).
  • Finally, we will take an image of your brain using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan while you lie in an MRI scanner (1hr).

Register your interest

If you are interested in participating in the study or have any questions, please contact Associate Professor Frini Karayanidis (frini.karayanidis@newcastle.edu.au or 02 4921 5457) or Ms Korinne Nicolas (korinne.nicolas@uon.edu.au or 02 4921 7405)