Race Against Dementia and Dementia Australia Research Foundation Fellow
Sydney University, Australia
Dr McKinnon is a research fellow and clinical neuropsychologist who became interested in dementia research due to the limited effectiveness of existing interventions and lack of curative treatments for the condition.
Andrew was awarded the RAD DARF Fellowship in 2021 to investigate relationships between sleep-wake disturbances, brain changes, dementia risk factors and the accumulation of dementia pathology.
“Sir Jackie Stewart’s vision to apply high-performance elements from Formula 1 to dementia research is a unique and potentially very effective approach to streamlining dementia research and allowing breakthroughs to be made at a more rapid pace. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to engage with the best minds looking at dementia across academia, industry and beyond.”
Dr Andrew McKinnon
Sleep disturbances, including poor sleep quality, shorter sleep duration and sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, are present in up to 60% of older adults over the age of 60 and in up to 70% of those with dementia. These types of sleep problems are emerging as another significant yet modifiable (for example, through treatment with melatonin or CPAP devices) risk factor for dementia.
However, how these sleep problems relate over time to brain and cognition changes, underlying dementia processes, and other risk factors has not been thoroughly investigated. Dr McKinnon will address this gap through comprehensively characterising sleep problems in older adults with early dementia or at risk of dementia.
Furthermore, he aims to develop tools that will provide personalised risk profile reports that can be implemented by clinicians to guide strategies for dementia management and prevention for individual patients.