Research Theme: Cognitive Functioning

 

Name: Marica Cassarino
Institution: University College Cork
Contact: mcassarino@ucc.ie
Completion: July 2017

Project: The datasets will be used to conduct cross-sectional analyses for TILDA wave 2 as well as longitudinal analyses (confronting wave 1 and wave 2) of measures of cognitive performance in the CAPI in relation to location of residence (urban vs. rural), while controlling for socioeconomic, health, and lifestyle factors. These analyses are part of a PhD project which started in October 2013. Cross-sectional analyses of TILDA Wave 1 have already been conducted by using the first public release (access granted at the beginning of 2014), but an updated version would be useful to check whether substantial changes have been made to the used variables. 

 


 

Name: Iseult Cremen
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Contact: cremeni@tcd.ie
Completion: September 2016

Project: I am PhD candidate at TCD and I am looking into novel motor-training interventions to prevent and/or delay cognitive decline and improve cognitive functioning in older adults. As part of my protocol, I am replicating a subset of the TILDA cognitive and motor tests, and it would be hugely beneficical to my research to have population norms with which to compare my data. 

 


 

Name: Rose Galvin
Institution: University of Limerick
Contact: rose.galvin@ul.ie
Completion: March 2016

Project: Previous research indicates that measures of cognitive function are lower in adults with lower levels of formal education. In Ireland, the mean normative scores MoCA scores are eported to be 23.1 points (SD 3.9 points) in adults with primary or no education. We hypothesise that adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have lower MoCA scores than their age and gender matched norms. Therefore the purpose of this study is to compare MoCA scores of COPD patients (recruited from the outpatient department of an urban teaching hospital in Dublin) with Irish norms, as described in the TILDA study. 

 


 

Name: Anja Leist
Institution: University of Luxembourg
Contact: anja.leist@uni.lu
Completion: February 2022

Project: Examining the education-cognition gradient across countries and cohorts with the different health and retirement studies

 


 

Name: Avril Mansfield
Institution: Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Contact: avril.mansfield@uhn.ca
Completion: March 2017

Project: Fear of Falling (FOF) is common in older adults, and while it sometimes develops as a result of a fall, it can also develop people without a history of falls. Therefore, there is a potential for FOF to afflict a large proportion of the older adult population. FOF often leads to reduced functional independence and quality of life, as people may avoid activities that they were previously able to perform. FOF has typically been studies in the context of everyday activities, including standing and walking. However, there has been little work to examine the effects of FOF in an occupational context, and if FOF affects individual's capacity to continue working in the later years. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine whether older working individuals with fear of falling were more likely to be retired at the end of a two year follow-up period, compare to those without fear of falling. We hypothesise that older working individuals with fear of falling will be more likely to be retired at the end of a two year follow up period. The measures required for analysis and/or as cohort descriptors will consist of fear of falling, employment status, age, sex, and the type of employment/industry. Participants in the fear and no-fear groups will be matched on age and sex. The fear and no-fear groups will then be compared to determine whether people in the fear group who were initially employed during the initial period of data collection, were more likely than those in the no-fear group to be retired by the follow-up period of data collection. 

 


 

Name: Fiachra Maguire
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Contact: fmaguire@tcd.ie
Completion: Withheld

Project: To assess if gait is a predictor of cognitive decline in a nationally representative community dwelling population (TILDA Wave 1, wave 2). This analysis is undertaken with a view to assessing if a modified Motoric Cognitive RISK (MCR), as defined by the Einstein Ageing Study, can be developed from TILDA (using different gait and/or cognitive function variables) employing TILDA wave 1 and wave 2. This will also involve the examination of (1) cross sectional and longitudinal differences in gait between cognitive function groups based on neuropsychological assessment test scores and diagnosis of serious memory impairments (2) interaction between age, gait, global cognition groups and cognitive impairment. This is an extension of previous research carried out into the correlations between gait and cognition function parameters in the TILDA dataset. Analysis will be carried out to support TILDA research output and in conjunction with the Physical Health and Neuropsychology Working Groups.

 


 

Name: Joanna Edel McHugh
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Contact: j.mchugh@qub.ac.uk
Completion: September 2017

Project: I am investigating the link between social factors (social connectedness, participation, and loneliness) and cognitive outcomes, as mediated by health, health behaviours, mood, and stress. I aim to use structural equation modelling on the TILDA dataset to test the theoretically-derived model I have created of the link between social factors and cognitive outcomes.

 


 

Name: Aine Ryan
Institution: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Contact: aineryan@rcsi.ie
Completion: July 2016

Project: We aim to identify the impact of levels of activity and function on the development of multimorbidity (>2 chronic conditions). Levels of activity and function will be identified using the following outcome measures: IPAQ; Timed up and Go; Grip Strength and Gait Speed. These will be considered individually and in combination. Data from wave 1 through to wave 2 will provide information on the baseline presence of chronic conditions and their subsequent development. We also intend to identify the impact of levels of activity and function on patients with multimorbidity over time. Those patients with established multimorbidity at Wave 1 will be followed through to Wave 2. The worsening of multimorbidity will be analysed in terms of accrual of additional chronic conditions. Secondary outcomes which will also be examined are quality of life and healthcare utilisation. Quality of life will be measured using the results from the CASP-19 questionnaire. Healthcare utilisation will be assessed via the computer-aided personal interview (CAPI) questions specific to the Irish healthcare system on the use of healthcare services and individual healthcare expenses. 

 


 

Name: Elizabeth Saunders
Institution: University of Washington
Contact: elizsand@u.washington.edu
Completion: September 2020

Project: A number of surveys of health and cognition in older adults conducted outside of the US are modelled after the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Each of these international sister studies (ISS) uses different methods to assess cognitive functioning. These differences, combined with differences in the environment, languages, demographic and health characteristics of the participants make it difficult to draw clear conclusions regarding similarities and differences in the level of cognitive impairment cross-nationally. The ability to compare rates of dementia and more broadly cognitive impairment internationally is of interest to policy makers and public health leaders. Health ministries require reliable information regarding the comparative burden and potential impact of cognitive impairment among their older citizens to evaluate previous public responses and plans for future responses to demographic shifts. Our project will: 1) harmonize and co-calibrate the cognitive assessments in the HRS family of studies, 2) identify limits of the validity of the measures, 3) and make concrete recommendations for future work and instrument development. We will accomplish these goals by making use of HRS and ISS, as well as other existing studies that include brief mental status assessments, neuropsychological tests, and relevant clinical outcomes for cognitive aging and dementia (neuroimaging, neuropathology, and longitudinal course).

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: Withheld

Project: I wish to explore the association between balance and physical activity (PA) and understand whether PA has any protective factors regarding balance over time using studies such as NICOLA, ELSA and TILDA.

This research project is also recorded under the theme: Physical Activity.

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: December 2016

Project: The aim is to analyse data from TILDA to estimate the prevalence and incidence of falls among older people with diabetes in Ireland and examine whether there is an independent association between diabetes and falls in this group. The prevalence of falls, recurrence and fear of falling will be estimated among people with and without diabetes. Using data from waves 1 and 2 of the study, the incidence of falling in this population will be compared to the general population without diabetes. Multivariate logic regression will be used to examine the independent association between diabetes and the occurrence of falls, adjusting for potential confounding factors including age, cardiovascular events (MI, stroke, angina), cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, exercise, education levels, physical functioning and polypharmacy. Sub-group analysis will be conducted to identify the risk factors associated with falling among those within the diabetic population. 

This research project is also recorded under the theme: Health.

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: Withheld

Project: I wish to investigate hearing with a team of final year Speech and Language Therapy students. For example, the relationship between hearing and language and cognitive function in older adults; use of hearing aids by older Irish adults with hearing difficulties; the relationship between job history, employment, retirement and hearing in later life; the relationship between childhood health and hearing function in later life; the relationship between behavioural health and hearing function in older adults; the relationship between mental health and hearing in later life; the relationship between falls and hearing function in older adults; the association between social relationships and hearing function in older adults; the relationship between social participation and hearing function in older adults; the relationship between activities of daily living and hearing function in older adults and the relationship between cardiovascular diseases and hearing function.

This research project is also recorded under the theme: Health.

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: December 2015

Project: The TILDA dataset and its variables will be used to research two questions: do older metabolically healthy obese (MHO) individuals have a reduced prevalence of cognitive impairment when compared with age and BMI matched MUO individuals? Do older MHO individuals have better functional capacity when compared with age and BMI matched MUO individuals? 

This research project is also recorded under the theme: Weight and Dietary Issues.

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: May 2016

Project: To use for final year Dietetics undergraduate project, looking at handgrip strength and performance associated factors i.e. BMI, physical activity, age in community dwelling older adults.

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: December 2018

Project: The proposed doctorate aims to discover and analyse the relationships between the behaviours of alcohol consumption and smoking and the psychosocial variables of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, insomnia, social connectedness and cognitive functioning in an older population (aged 65 and above). 

This research project is also recorded under the theme: Mental Health and Alcohol Consumption and Smoking

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: 2015

Project: We would like to examine physical limitations and cognitive abilities of the population above 50 across countries. Moreover, investigations in possible cohort changes in terms of disabilities and cognition are of our interest.

This research project is also recorded under the theme: Disability

 


 

Name: Withheld
Institution: Withheld
Contact: Withheld
Completion: July 2016

Project: We are conducting research on mental health and social network. We are going to analyze the TILDA data in order to identify the factors associated with mental health, cognitive impairment and social network. 

This research project is also recorded under the theme: Mental Health and Community and Social Support.

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