Mental and Cognitive Health in Ageing

Research Overview

My research group is focused on mental and cognitive health in middle and older age to advance knowledge, service delivery and care and help reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems and cognitive changes in Ageing. We are closely connected to the Aged Mental Health Programs at Royal Melbourne Hospital and St Vincent’s Health.

I am Involved in and/or currently initiating and conducting research covering various topics in Neuroscience with a general focus on improving cognitive and mental health outcomes for older adults. Topics researched include: cognitive health, healthy ageing, resilience, cognitive reserve, urban environments and cognitive health, dementia risk reduction, cognitive and mental health literacy, attitudes to ageing, intergenerational programs, risk factors for cognitive decline, biomarkers, subjective cognitive decline, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias, clinical trials with a focus on non-pharmacological interventions (e.g. physical activity, cognitive activity, music therapy, modern technology), depression and suicide risk, anxiety, optimising dementia diagnosis and care including in residential care, falls risk and prevention, optimising health care for Australians of CALD and Indigenous background, carer support, stroke survivors.



  • 2021    MRFF Dementia and Ageing and Aged Care Mission - Music Attuned Technology Care eHealth (MATCH): A music based mobile eHealth solution to support care of people with dementia.
  • 2020    MRFF RCRDUN Neurological disorders - A randomised control trial in subjects with early Alzheimer's disease in exploring if probucol supports cognitive function through improved cerebrovascular function.
  • 2020    UNSW Ageing Futures Institute - The INTERGENERATION INTEGRATION project; supporting the building of intergenerational programs within communities.
  • 2020    Dementia Australia Research Foundation Project Grant - Harnessing habits to increase physical activity in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Subjective Cognitive Decline.
  • 2019    Research Translation Projects, WA Department of Health - Hearing aids to support the cognitive functioning of older adults at risk of dementia: The HearCog study.
  • 2019    NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grant - Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia (LEAD!).
  • 2019    MACH Rapid Applied Research Translation - Physical Activity in Aged Mental Health Services: Physical activity guidelines implementation for aged mental health community team consumers at Melbourne Health and St Vincent’s Health.
  • 2019    MH Foundation Grant - Feasibility pilot clinical trial investigating cognitive and emotional recovery training in combination with vortioxetine for community members with depression

Research Publications

TOP 5 publications

  • Sikkes SA, […], Lampit A, Laver K, Lutz A, Lautenschlager NT, […], on behalf of the ISTAART Non-pharmacological Interventions Professional Interest Area, Bahar-Fuchs A (2020). Toward a theory-based specification of NON-PHARMACOLOGICAL treatments in aging and dementia: Focused reviews and methodological recommendations. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 1-16. DOI: 10.1002/alz.12188.  PubMed
  • Chong TWH, Curran E, Ellis KA, Southam J, You E, Hill KD, Pond D, Dow B, Anstey KJ, Hosking D, Cyarto E, Lautenschlager NT (2020). Physical activity for older Australians with mild cognitive impairment or subjective cognitive decline – A narrative review to support guideline development. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 23(10), 913-920. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2020.03.003.  PubMed
  • VK Venkatraman, CE Steward, KL Cox, KA Ellis, PM Phal, MJ Sharman, VL Villemagne, MMY Lai, EV Cyarto, D Ames, C Szoeke, CC Rowe, CL Masters, and NT Lautenschlager** & PM Desmond** (** joint senior authors): Baseline White Matter Is Associated With Physical Fitness Change in Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease. Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience 2020; 12: 115. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2020.00115.  PubMed
  • Anstey KJ, Peters R, Zheng L, Barnes DE, Brayne C, Brodaty H, Chalmers J, Clare L, Dixon RA, Dodge H, Lautenschlager NT, Middleton L, Qiu C, Rees G, Shahar S, Yaffe K (2020). Future directions for dementia risk reduction and prevention research: An international research network on dementia prevention consensus. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-200674.   PubMed
  • NT Lautenschlager, K Cox, and K Ellis: Physical activity for cognitive health: what advice can we give to older adults with subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment? Dialogues in Clinical Neursocience 2019;21(2):61-68. DOI: 10.31887/DCNS.2019.21.1/nlautenschlager.  PubMed

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Nicola Lautenschlager

Department / Centre

Psychiatry , Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age

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