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Welcome to The Disconnected Mind

The Disconnected Mind is a multidisciplinary research project at the University of Edinburgh investigating the ageing brain.

The Disconnected Mind aims to understand how changes in the brain's white matter - its connectivity - contribute to age-related cognitive decline in humans.


Cognitive decline is the single most feared aspect of growing old. Identifying the cerebral basis for age-related cognitive decline is amongst the greatest challenges to improving the health of older people. Age-related cognitive decline reduces quality of life, is an increasing burden to sufferers and their families, and places a massive financial load on society. The spectrum of decline ranges from normal cognitive ageing, through Mild Cognitive Impairment, to the dementias. Here we address the milder end of the spectrum. This is an especially important problem because it involves such large numbers of people.

The aim of The Disconnected Mind is to make a novel contribution to understanding why people's cognitive functions decline as they grow older. The project's principal focus is on the brain's white matter - the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. Without intact and healthy connections, thinking is slower and mental functions are impaired.

You can find out more about The Disconnected Mind by using the links to the left.









The Disconnected Mind is funded by Age UK.