Isaac Saywell

Isaac Saywell

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


I am a PhD student in the Cognitive Neural Sciences Lab. Generally, my research considers how certain lifestyle factors, such as education, occupation, leisure activity engagement, intelligence, and several other variables, influence cognitive and motor outcomes for both alpha-synucleinopathy and traumatic brain injury patients. More specifically, I am focused on understanding how these lifestyle variables contribute to the development of a hypothetical brain construct, namely cognitive reserve. This concept has been proposed to justify neuropathologically unexplainable mismatches differences in clinical outcomes for individuals suffering from neurodegeneration. In simpler terms, those with a higher cognitive reserve can better stave off symptoms of degenerative brain diseases to extend quality of life. Thus, understanding how cognitive reserve interacts with pathology, cognition, motor function, and other relevant factors is vital to improving diagnosis, prognostic predictions, and treatment decisions in a clinical setting.

Currently, I am invovled in a large scope research study examining a plethora of different outcomes across healthy adults, Parkinson's disease patients, and traumatic brain injury patients, with the broad goal of investigating how cognition changes across the lifespan for these populations.


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