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Why do some people suffer from depression and memory loss as they age, whereas others stay well for the whole of their lives? We examine the effect of genes and life history on ageing using neuropsychology and neuro-imaging techniques as part of large scale epidemiological and experimental medicine studies.

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You find us here (with some photos and maps)

If mental health fails in older age, a large number of factors may be responsible: we aim to isolate these using a variety of large and small-scale studies that use all possible methods of enquiry, from clinical interviews and medical examination to neuropsychology and brain imaging.

This outstanding proposal aims to integrate state-of-the-art brain measures .. on the newest generation of clinical use MR scanners .. with data from a very important, well published longitudinal epidemiologic study.Anon. (MRC Referee)

We have teamed up with the Whitehall Study at UCL and the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) to examine 800 of their volunteers, who have been followed up 2-yearly for the last 25 years (see quote). Whitehall Imaging Oxford is a participant in the EU Horizon 2020 Project Lifebrain.

Lifebrain News

See here for latest Lifebrain News

Our focus of interest is on the interaction of genetic, environmental, social and psychological factors that confer risk and resilience on people as they age. We are also interested in enhancing brain plasticity and resilience by means of exercise, transcranial stimulation and pharmacology.

Our imaging, cognitive and psychiatric research aims to investigate emerging evidence of the brain architecture that enables individuals to compensate cognitively and emotionally, particularly with advancing age.

The wider Old Age Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Ageing theme is comprised of three research groups:

Neurobiology of Ageing, led by Klaus Ebmeier

Translational Neuroscience and Dementia Research, led by Noel Buckley & Sir Simon Lovestone

Translational Neuroimaging, led by Clare Mackay

Our team

Recent publications

Taking part

How do I get involved in research?

Information for volunteers

Training for Undergraduate Students

Apart from bedside teaching, there will be three lectures in 5th year, given by Dr Anya Topiwala "Dementia", by Dr Ivan Koychev "Interesting cases", and by Prof Klaus Ebmeier "Late-life depression"

Training for Graduate Students

We welcome graduate students from a wide range of disciplines including medicine, neuroscience and psychology. The resources of FMRIB, the Department of Psychiatry and the University of Oxford provide a wide-range of training opportunities.

Continuing Professional Development (Old Age Psychiatry)

... but we also meet regularly. We organise continuing professional development in old age psychiatry and allied profession for Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. For the current programme, please go to 'Meetings' at the top of page.

Research Programmes

Whitehall Imaging Oxford

We are proud to announce that we have now imaged 800 participants (about 12% of the Whitehall II sample) and have achieved our target on time ( Identifier: NCT03335696). Data collected during this study will be analysed by researchers at the University of Oxford in collaboration with Whitehall II study researchers at University College London over the next couple years, before becoming available (in an anonymised form) to other researchers. Results will be published over the following years. Participants will receive updates of the most recent findings with the Whitehall II newsletter between the clinic appointments. You can also read more about the study and its findings on this site.

Improving lifelong cognitive health through physical exercise and cognitive stimulation

The human brain has a remarkable capacity to learn and adapt. This ability is strongly influenced by many factors, including how active we are - both physically and mentally.

Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre

The Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC) is a grouping of scientists and clinicians launched in February 2010 following the award of the Monument Trust Discovery Award to Oxford University

Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research

Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research is a consortium of clinical and basic scientists who work on various aspects of translational dementia and ageing research


Healthy Minds from 0-100 years: Optimising the use of European brain imaging cohorts

As part of EU Horizon 2020, we integrate 11 longitudinal mostly population-based cohort studies investigating cognitive and mental health across the life-span (n=18 500). Many subjects (n=6000) underwent MRI examinations (40 000 exams) in addition to clinical cognitive and mental health data and genetic sampling. We plan to link those databases to national databases (registries), biobanks and data from other large studies

Whitehall II Study 30th Anniversary Celebration Event

2015 marked the 30th anniversary of the Whitehall II Study. To celebrate the achievements of the past 30 years, a one-day celebration event was held at UCL on Wednesday 25th November 2015. Over 150 people attended including Whitehall researchers, collaborators and a representative group of participants from the Whitehall II cohort. The link leads to the day's talks and presentations

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