Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciencesandrea.email@example.com
University of Pittsburgh
I study how lifestyle behaviors, such as engagement in physical activity, impact brain and cognitive health in older adults. I have examined the impact of active and inactive lifestyles on neurocognitive health in healthy older adults, as well as adults diagnosed with dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Restricted access to healthy lifestyles puts people at risk for developing cognitive decline. Unfortunately, individuals living in neighborhoods with poorer resources and individuals who live in high-stress environments are more likely to develop physical health problems that can lead to dementia. In my dissertation research I found that people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease who were more physically active had better communication in brain regions important for executive function. Physical inactivity, on the other hand, was associated with poorer cognition. I am also trained as a clinical health psychologist, with specialties in neuropsychological assessment and in treating the link between physical health and mental health.