Research Projects

Understanding the link between wellbeing and brain function in dementia

Awarded to:
Dr Amber John

Current award:

University College London

1 July 2022 - 30 June 2025

Full project name:

Understanding the links between psychological wellbeing and cognitive decline and dementia






Over a third of dementia cases can be attributed to a combination of lifestyle factors that can be changed. Research into modifiable lifestyle factors could therefore help to drastically reduce the number of people who develop dementia.

Well-recognised risk factors for dementia include depression and anxiety. However, currently it is unclear whether enhancing psychological wellbeing can protect against the decline in brain function in dementia.

This project led by Dr Amber John from University College London will test the links between wellbeing and cognition (how we think and learn) in older age and dementia.

What will they do?

Dr John will integrate a range of approaches to analyse data from different complementary sources, including large-scale clinical studies and databases with brain scanning data.

The overall aim of this project is to investigate whether methods that enhance wellbeing could benefit brain function. Findings from this project will have far-reaching implications for designing new approaches and optimising existing ones for dementia risk reduction.

Help us fund more projects like this one

Dementia is one of the world’s greatest challenges. It steals lives and leaves millions heartbroken. But we can change the future.