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The aim of this project is to examine lifestyle and environmental risk factors for the development of Younger Onset Dementia (YOD). Dementia that develops before 65 years of age is unexpected, distressing and can have devastating consequences for the person, their partner and family. However, there is little known about this group, which is increasing in size due to the Baby Boomer generation. There are many preventable causes of YOD and this project aims to better understand these. In particular, we aim to investigate the long term effects of serious head injury, alcohol and/or substance misuse, vascular risk factors, exposure to heavy metals and psychological trauma. Ultimately, we hope that this project will enable prevention strategies and possibly treatment plans to be developed, reducing the overall burden of YOD in Australia.
Ms Cations is a PhD Candidate based at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), University of New South Wales.
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