Dr Claire Lancaster

Dr Claire Lancaster

Alzheimer's Society Research Fellow (Psychology)

Email: claire.lancaster@sussex.ac.uk

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Alzheimer's Disease, brain function and cognition

Treatments aimed at reversing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease have had limited success to date; as such, it’s really important to think about how we can prevent future cases of dementia from much earlier in the lifespan. My research investigates the relationship between cognition and functional brain activity in individuals predisposed to future Alzheimer’s Disease. I am particularly interested in carriers of an APOE e4 gene – the leading genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

APOE e4 carriers show deviant patterns of brain activity from early adulthood, comparable to those seen in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Students may lead on projects asking if these pattens of deviant brain activity are linked to the emergence of subtle cognitive disadvantages in APOE e4 carriers by mid-life, and whether we can downregulate deviant brain activity as a new avenue of early life prevention.

This project will suit students with an interest in cognitive neuroscience with a clinical application. Students will gain experience designing and building cognitive assessment, collecting and analysing neuroimaging data, and/or testing pharmacological or lifestyle interventions against future cognitive decline. Rotation projects will most likely involve completing research with healthy adults. Longer-term projects (~3 years) may involve work with clinical populations.

Please reach out if you would like to chat about potential projects!

Key references

  • Lancaster, C., Tabet, N., & Rusted, J. (2017). The elusive nature of APOE ε4 in mid-adulthood: Understanding the cognitive profile. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23(3), 239-253.
  • Lancaster, C., Tabet, N., & Rusted, J. (2016). The APOE paradox: do attentional control differences in mid-adulthood reflect risk of late-life cognitive decline. Neurobiology of aging, 48, 114-12
  • Lancaster, C., McDaniel, M. A., Tabet, N., & Rusted, J. (2020). Prospective Memory: Age related change is influenced by APOE genotype. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 27(5), 710-728.
  • Lancaster, C., Koychev, I., Blane, J., Chinner, A., Chatham, C., Taylor, K., & Hinds, C. (2020). Gallery Game: Smartphone-based assessment of long-term memory in adults at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology, 42(4), 329-343.

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