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Psychiatry

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Silver Santé Study

Funded by EC H2020

 

The Silver Santé Study is an EC-funded project investigating mental health and well-being in the ageing population. The global population is ageing, with the number of people over 60 expected to more than double during the first half of this century - reaching two billion by 2050. As we live longer, ensuring good mental as well as physical health into later years is becoming ever more important. Identifying the determinants of a healthy old age will help safeguard quality of life and reduce the cost/care burden on health services of age-associated diseases.

As part of the Silver Santé Study, the SCD-WELL study, led by Dr. Natalie Marchant, is assessing the effect of a short-term interventions on behavioural measures. Participants are recruited from memory clinics and have some level of subjective cognitive decline, so their improvement can be measured along with the intervention. Behavioural measures will be monitored to see how much of a difference can be made to participants' wellbeing due to the intervention. This study is conducted in four centres in four different countries (UK, Germany, Spain and France).


Cognitive Debt

Funded by the Alzheimer's Society

Dr. Marchant has proposed the concept of Cognitive Debt to characterize thoughts and behaviors that increase vulnerability to symptomatic Alzheimer's disease (AD). Evidence indicates that depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, neuroticism, life stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder increase risk for AD, and we suggest they do so by increasing Cognitive Debt. Repetitive negative thinking (RNT), a behaviorally measurable process common to these factors, may drive Cognitive Debt acquisition. RNT transcends disorder-specific definition, encompasses rumination and worry, and is defined by perseverative, negative thought tendencies.

Defining a more specific behavioral profile of risk would enable interventions to be targeted earlier and more precisely at individuals most vulnerable to developing AD. The Cognitive Debt model may aid understanding of the psychological mechanisms that potentially increase predisposition to AD.

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