About Dr Shantel Duffy

Dr Duffy’s research explores the mechanisms underpinning cognitive decline and depression in older adults ‘at risk’ for dementia, modifiable risk factors for dementia (including sleep-wake dysfunction, exercise and diet), and the effect of interventions on in vivo markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.

Dr Duffy has extensive experience conducting clinical trials and cohort based clinical research. She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences at the Charles Perkins Centre and Brain and Mind Centre (BMC), the University of Sydney. Dr Duffy is an Accredited (and practicing) Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist with advanced neuroimaging expertise and she currently holds a prestigious NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship. Dr Duffy leads the Lifestyle, Exercise and Physical Activity Program for the Healthy Brain Ageing (HBA) Program at the BMC and currently manages and oversees the HBA magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) platform.

Dr Duffy has pioneered work exploring the relationship between an MRI derived marker of oxidative stress in individuals ‘at risk' for dementia and/or mood disorders and was the first internationally to show changes in this marker in people with sleep disordered breathing. She is also leading studies exploring the effect of exercise interventions on mood and cognition in individuals living with cognitive impairment and dementia as well as residents in aged care facilities. In 2019, Dr Duffy established the HBA Lifestyle Clinic at the Brain and Mind Centre, where she aims to further explore how novel measures of physical activity, exercise and diet quality (including gut microbiome) relate longitudinally to cognitive and mood outcomes in older adults.

Selected publications

  1.      Hermens, D., Hatton, S., Lee, R., Naismith, S., Duffy, S., Amminger, G., Kaur, M., Scott, E., Lagopoulos, J., Hickie, I. (2018). In vivo imaging of oxidative stress and fronto-limbic white matter integrity in young adults with mood disorders. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 268(2), 145-156. 2.      Radd-Vagenas, S., Duffy, S., Naismith, S., Brew, B., Flood, V., Fiatarone Singh, M. (2018). Effect of the Mediterranean diet on cognition and brain morphology and function: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 107(3), 389-404. 3.      Duffy SL, Lagopoulos J, Terpening Z, Lewis SJG, Grunstein R, Mowszowski L, Cross N, Hermens D, Hickie IB, Naismith SL (2016). Association of anterior cingulate glutathione with sleep apnea in older adults ‘at-risk’ for dementia. Sleep, 39(4):899-906. 4.      Duffy SL, Lagopoulos J, Hermens D, Hickie IB, Cockayne N, Naismith SL (2015). Oxidative stress and depressive symptoms in older adults: A magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 15: 29-35. 5.      McKinnon AC, Hickie IB, Scott J, Duffy SL, Norrie L, Terpening Z, Grunstein RR, Lagopoulos J, Batchelor J, Lewis SJG, Shine JM, Naismith SL (2017). Current sleep disturbance in older people with a lifetime history of depression is associated with increased connectivity in the Default Mode Network. Journal of Affective Disorders, 229:85-94. 6.      LaMonica HM, English A, Hickie IB, Ip J, Ireland C, West S, Shaw T, Mowszowski L, Glozier N, Duffy SL, Gibson AA, Naismith SL (2017). Examining internet and e-health practices and preferences: Survey study of Australian older adults with subjective memory complaints, mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(10): e358. 7.      Jayaweera K, Hickie IB, Duffy SL, Mowszowski L, Norrie L, Lagopoulos J, Naismith SL (2016). Episodic memory in depression: the unique contribution of the anterior caudate and hippocampus. Psychological Medicine, 46(10):2189-99. 8.      Naismith SL, Lagopoulos J, Hermens DF, White D, Duffy SL, Robillard R, Scott EM, Hickie IB (2014). Delayed circadian phase is linked to glutamatergic functions in young people with affective disorders. A proton magnetic resonance imaging study. BMC Psychiatry, 14(1): 345. 9.      Duffy SL, Lagopoulos J, Hickie IB, Diamond K, Graeber M, Lewis SJG, Naismith SL (2014). Glutathione relates to neuropsychological functioning in mild cognitive impairment. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 10(1): 67-75. 10.  Duffy SL, Paradise M, Hickie IB, Lewis SJG, Naismith SL, Lagopoulos J (2014). Cognitive impairment with and without depression history: An analysis of white matter microstructure. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 38(1): 130079.