Ms Tergel Namrsai

Investigating the interaction of sleep quality and physical/cognitive training as protective factors for cognitive decline in a randomised controlled trial in the advanced design stages.

Ms Namrsai
Graeme Samuel Dementia Research Award
In Progress
Project Snapshot

Dementia is the second-leading cause of death in Australia and there is currently no cure or any effective treatments. Several modifiable risk factors for dementia have been identified, including obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, hearing loss and diabetes. However, they only explain approximately one-third of all cases. The remaining attributes of disease have not been identified.

One emerging modifiable risk factor for dementia is sleep. Poor sleep in middle age is associated with increased dementia pathology, including the build-up of toxic plaques in the brain that cause cognitive decline. Ms Namsrai’s previous research found that more than nine hours of sleep per night and less than six had a negative impact on processes important for reaction time and memory. Unfortunately, researchers still do not understand the extent of sleep’s impact on brain health and cognition, or how it interacts with other risk factors.

Dr Namsrai will investigate how sleep and physical activity contribute to neurodegeneration and cognitive function. She believes that together they may be an important factor in maintaining a healthy brain well into old age. Her results will add much-needed scientific knowledge linking the quality of our sleep to our risk of dementia. 

Where are they now?

Tergel Namrsai is PhD student at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University.

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