Lecture examines brain health and independence in old age

By Costa Maragos Posted: February 15, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Dr. Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe shares her latest research on healthy aging.
Dr. Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe shares her latest research on healthy aging. Photo courtesy of Washington State University

There is hope for maximizing brain health as we get older.

The latest research on optimizing health and wellness as people age will be presented by the U of R’s Centre on Aging and Health Distinguished Lecture Friday, February 17, at the Research and Innovation Centre (Room 117) at 6 p.m.

The featured speaker is Dr. Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, professor of psychology at Washington State University. Her lecture is titled “Maximizing Brain Health and Independence in Old Age.”

Schmitter-Edgecombe will share research in areas including reducing dementia risk and the use of smart technology.  Schmitter-Edgecombe has worked extensively with older adults and populations with cognitive impairments. She has been involved in groundbreaking projects in the use of household smart technology to aid in seniors’ mobility and independence.  

Centre on aging and health
Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos and graduate student Amy Hampton with a community volunteer. The Centre on Aging and Health has developed partnerships with Saskatchewan health regions and local health organizations. Photo courtesy of Sask. Health Research Foundation (Debra Marshall)
“One of the primary mandates of the Centre on Aging and Health is to bring evidence-based research to the community,” says Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Registered Doctoral Psychologist, and Research Chair in Aging and Health at the University of Regina. “We recently surveyed seniors about the types of topics that they would be interested in seeing covered in our distinguished lecture series. Topics related to healthy aging were ranked very highly.”

Schmitter-Edgecombe has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications investigating attention, memory, and executive function abilities, everyday functioning and the efficacy of interventions with aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and traumatic brain injuries.

Her research has been funded by over $10 million in grants from the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Alzheimer's Association, the Department of Defense, the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, and the Washington State Attorney General's Office.

“Last year we featured a presenter who talked about the benefits of exercise on physical health in old age and it was tremendously successful with over 250 people in attendance,” says Hadjistavropoulos. “This year's topic complements last year's presentation through the focus on a healthy brain. Dr. Schmitter-Edgecombe is an authority in the area and we are delighted that she accepted our invitation to come to Regina and present to researchers and the community.”

This annual distinguished lecture builds on the impressive collaborative research conducted by the Centre on Aging and Health at the U of R. The Centre, founded in 2002, facilitates health research and training. The Gerontology program, coordinated by the Centre, is the only interdisciplinary graduate gerontology degree program of its kind on the prairies.

The Centre has developed partnerships with health regions in Saskatchewan as well as provincial and local health organizations.

For more information on the Centre and how you can participate in the latest research projects please visit here.

Event:  Maximizing Brain Health and Independence in Old Age
Venue: Research and Innovation Building – Room 119
Date:   Friday, February 17
Time:   6:00 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public
Free parking in Lot 1 M
Refreshments will be provided.
For more information please call (306) 337-8477 or cah@uregina.ca