Olivia Hamilton (BA, MSc)

Thesis title: Examining cognitive dysfunction in cerebral small vessel disease, its predictors and clinical co-associates.


Olivia is a final year student on the Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD in Translational Neuroscience. Previously, Olivia completed a BA in English Language at Cardiff University before gaining an MSc in Language Sciences (with specialisation in Linguistics with Neuroscience) at University College London. Prior to starting her PhD, Olivia worked as a research assistant on the MARQUE project, investigating the quality of life of people with dementia living in care homes and trialling a staff training intervention for the management of agitation in residents with dementia (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/mental-health-older-people/past-projects/marque-project).

Research summary

Through her PhD, Olivia is exploring how cognitive ability is affected by cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), a highly prevalent disease that causes approximately 20% of strokes and contributes to approximately 40% of dementias worldwide. Olivia has used meta-analytic techniques to characterise the profile of cognitive impairments associated with SVD, and is further investigating relationships between SVD-related brain changes and cognitive decline using structural equation modelling.