Brodtmann Group

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The Cognitive Health Initiative is focused on vascular determinants of brain health and improving diagnostic pathways for people with cognitive disorders. We seek to find factors that increase risk of cognitive impairment, but also, and more importantly, to find factors that protect our brains - the keys to healthy brain ageing. We aim to improve the diagnostic pathway for people with cognitive disorders by identifying better testing methods in clinic, including the use of advanced imaging markers, blood tests for brain proteins, and tests of function to allow early diagnosis, and streamline access to supportive therapies, future treatments, and improved care.

Nine members of the Brodtmann Group stand in two rows in a green park
2023 Brodtmann Group. L-R: Linden Carroll, Laura White, Elizabeth McInerney, Kim Adkins, Dr Mohamed Khlif, Alex Billett, Dr Amy Brodtmann, Steph Tucker, Dr Carolina Restrepo Verasquez. (Not pictured: Ruwayda Haibe, Dr Antonia Clarke, Dr Maja Christensen)

Get in touch

Whether you want to be involved in our research, to study with us, or to donate to our work, we would be delighted to hear from you.

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We are currently recruiting participants for a Post stroke exercise study

Group Head

Our people

Our work

The Cognitive Health Initiative studies network degeneration following brain injury (e.g. ischaemic stroke), with particular interest in vascular contributions to and diagnostic pathways for cognitive impairment, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Dementia is a major health challenge, affecting over 46 million people worldwide (about 460,000 within Australia), and expected to increase to 131.5 million by 2050. Certain populations, including those with history of stroke or otherwise compromised vascular health, are at an alarmingly higher risk of developing dementia. The individual risk factors contributing most to the dementia burden are physical inactivity, stroke, and mid-life hypertension. There is also a growing body of evidence linking diet and gut microbiome dysfunction with the onset and progression of dementia, and poor sleep quality is also associated with increased risk of dementia, cognitive decline, and increased cortical atrophy. There is currently no effective pharmacological treatments to prevent or alter the progress of cognitive decline - however, there is converging evidence from human and animal studies that lifestyle approaches, including cardiorespiratory exercise hold tremendous promise for dementia prevention.

Our research seeks to investigate neuroimaging correlates of cognitive decline, the effects of post-stroke exercise interventions of brain volume and cognitive function, and the accuracy and accessibility of imaging modalities in the diagnosis of dementia. Ultimately, we want to increase our understanding of dementia and stroke, two of the major causes of death, disability, and reduced quality of life in our society, and illuminate potential causal factors leading from stroke and ischaemic brain injury to neurodegeneration including dementia risk.

Want to learn more about dementia? Prof Amy Brodtmann serves on the Board of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation (since 2018), as well as being an invited Honorary Medical Advisor for Dementia Australia - the first woman to be invited into this role. We can highly recommend a visit to the Dementia Australia website as it is a great resource for more information.

Our projects

In addition to the projects below, we collaborate extensively with dementia and stroke researchers, clinicians, and neuroscientists, both within Australia and internationally.

Our achievements

Our recent publications