Adele Cave

Effectiveness of a herbal and nutritional supplement on cognitive function in older adults with subjective cognitive complaints


Between 25-50 per cent of the world's ageing population experience subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs) such as frequent forgetfulness, difficulties concentrating, making decisions and thinking clearly. SCCs are also linked to an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease.

The aim of Adele's study is to test the efficacy of a herbal and nutritional supplement in a sample of older adults who report SCCs. The project is a six month trial which will test the effects of the supplement (compared to placebo) on cognition (CogState), mood, fatigue, electrophysiology and autonomic function.

Adele's project will be investigating an under researched area and will provide a greater understanding of the effects of complementary treatments on brain activity and mood. The outcomes of her study will hold great value to the general community, particularly those who are noticing a decline in their cognitive functioning.


Adele completed her Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Bachelor of Psychological Sciences (Honours) degree (with Distinction) at the University of Wollongong. She is a research assistant on a number of projects within NICM, and has been trained in various psychophysiology measures and phlebotomy. Adele has co-authored publications in the areas of healthy ageing and psychopharmacology. The findings from her honours project entitled 'Resting EEG sex differences', has significantly contributed to the fields of psychophysiology and healthy minds.

In the future, Adele would like to build upon her experience in conducting clinical trials, working with a clinical population and testing the effectiveness of complementary medicines. She hopes to coordinate her own research lab. Her aim is to build upon policy and procedures in the area of mental health to gain a better understanding of brain mechanisms in different populations.


Supervisors:

Dr Genevieve Steiner, Professor Dennis Chang, Professor Gerald Muench