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Dr Dorina Cadar

A head shot of BSMS staff member Dr Dorina Cadar against a black wall

Dr Dorina Cadar (MSc (Clinical Neuroscience), PGCert (Cog Ageing), PhD (Epidemiology & Public Health), FHEA)

Senior Lecturer in Neuro-epidemiology and Dementia
T: +44 (0)1273 877896
Location: Room 112, Trafford Centre, University of Sussex, BN1 9RY

Areas of expertise: Neuro-epidemiology, Dementia disorders

Research areas: Modifiable risk factors associated with cognitive ageing and dementia; Psychobiology; Immunology; Psychosocial wellbeing in later life; Non-pharmacological and lifestyle interventions in dementia disorders

Other positions: Course Leader, MSc Dementia Studies; Executive Committee of Social Society for Medicine and Population Health

Twitter: @DorinaCadar


Dr Dorina Cadar is a Senior Lecturer in Neuro-epidemiology and Dementia at the Centre for Dementia Studies at BSMS and the director of the Cognitive Epidemiology, Dementia, and Ageing Research (CEDAR) lab.Prior to joining the Centre for Dementia Studies at BSMS, Dorina has worked for 10 years at University College London (UCL). She was a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Behavioural Science and Health and completed her postdoctoral work at the MRC Lifelong Health and Ageing Unit and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL.

Dorina graduated with a PhD in Cognitive Epidemiology and Public Health from University College London (2013), a Postgraduate Certificate (Distinction) in Cognitive Ageing Research Methods from the University of Edinburgh (2013), an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (2009) and a BSc in Psychology (Hons) from Birkbeck College, University of London (2008).

Dorina is the director of the Cognitive Epidemiology, Dementia and Ageing Research (CEDAR) lab and the Principal Investigator of several awards such as the Alzheimer Society research grant ‘Cognitive reserve and dementia’, the ESRC grant ‘Social determinants of dementia in the UK and Japan’. She is a Co-Investigator and Collaborator on several other grants such as the ‘Integrated research on prevention, treatment, and care for dementia’, ‘Novel integration of contextual data to study late-life cognition and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia funded by NIA, “The role of Metformin use in patients with type II diabetes and Covid 19 outcomes” and ‘Frailty and Covid-19 Incidence’ grants funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Dorina is the Comms Officer of the Society of Social Medicine and Population Health (SSM), a member of Alzheimer’s Society, Royal Society for Medicine, Society for Social Medicine, British Psychological Association, British Society of Gerontology, and Gerontological Society of America. She is an Associate Editor at BMC Psychiatry and Brain Sciences and the founder of the Public Engagement Project “Use it, don’t lose it!”.

Read more about the Cedar lab here >


Dorina's research interests and expertise are in the field of neuro-epidemiology and dementia, including immunology, biomarkers, socioeconomic inequalities, psychosocial factors, and other modifiable risk factors, such as lifestyle behaviours, social isolation, cognitive and social resilience. Her research interests cover human mental abilities, the effects of ageing and medical conditions on mental skills and cognitive decline, the impact of cognitive ability on people's lives, and dementia risk. She has extensive experience with longitudinal investigation of risk factors associated with cognitive ageing and dementia risk in national and international population studies.

Her research aims and objectives are grouped into two key areas of expertise. The first is the examination of modifiable risk factors associated with cognitive decline and dementia, including the biopsychosocial mechanisms involved in the mental ageing process and the role of lifestyle behaviours and social networks.

The second is the investigation of quality of life in individuals with cognitive impairment and dementia, from examining the psychological and socioeconomic impact of dementia diagnosis on individuals and their carers to mental and psychosocial resilience.


Dorina has extensive experience with teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including being the Course Leader for the MSc Dementia Studies at BSMS. The course is aimed at multidisciplinary staff involved in the management of dementia disorders and the care of people with dementia. The course’s objective is to deliver advanced professional education and an understanding of dementia for clinical and non-clinical practitioners working in the field by providing them with a blend of clinical knowledge and expertise in all aspects of dementia prevention, diagnosis, and disease progression.

In addition to teaching and her course leadership of the MSc Dementia Studies at BSMS, Dorina supervises medical, postgraduate, and doctoral students on topics related to neuro-epidemiology, dementia prevention, mechanistic biological pathways, and psychosocial factors associated with accelerated mental ageing and dementia risk. Dorina welcomes applications from prospective students.

Previously, Dorina has led and set up modules on Population Ageing, Measuring Population Health and Chronic Illness at BSc in Population Health and MSc in Health Psychology at University College London.

Selected publications

Cadar D, Abell J, Matthews FE, Brayne C, Batty D, Llewellyn DJ, & Steptoe A. Cohort Profile Update: The Harmonised Cognitive Assessment Protocol Sub-study of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA-HCAP). International Journal of Epidemiology, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyaa227

Cadar D, Lassale C, Davies H, Llewellyn DJ, Batty GD, Steptoe A. Individual and area-based socioeconomic differentials in dementia incidence in England: Evidence from a 12-year follow-up of participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. JAMA Psychiatry, 2018, 75, 723-732. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1012

Saadi JP, Carr E, Fleischmann M, Murray E, Head J, Steptoe A, Cadar D. The role of loneliness in the development of depressive symptoms among partnered dementia caregivers: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. European Psychiatry, 2021, 1-39. DOI: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2021.20

Ma Y, Ajnakina O, Steptoe A, & Cadar D. Higher risk of dementia in English older individuals who are overweight or obese. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyaa099

Cadar, D., Robitaille, A., Pattie, A., Deary, I. J., & Muniz-Terrera, G. The long arm of childhood intelligence on terminal decline: Evidence from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921. Psychology and Aging, 2020. DOI: 10.1037/pag0000477

Cadar, D, Robitaille A, Clouston S, Hofer SM, Piccinin AM, Muniz-Terrera G. An international evaluation of cognitive reserve and memory changes in early old age in ten European countries. Neuroepidemiology, 2017. DOI: 10.1159/000452276

Almeida-Meza P, Steptoe A, & Cadar D. Is Engagement in Intellectual and Social Leisure Activities Protective Against Dementia Risk? Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2021. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-200952

Fancourt D, Steptoe A, Cadar D. Cultural engagement and cognitive reserve: museum attendance is inversely associated with dementia incidence over a 10-year period. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2018, 213, 661-663. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.2018.129

Jackowska M. & Cadar D. The mediating role of low-grade inflammation on the prospective association between sleep and cognitive function in older men and women: 8-year follow-up from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2020. DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2019.103967

Yin J, Lassale C, Steptoe A, Cadar D. Exploring the bidirectional associations between loneliness and cognitive functioning over 10 years: the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2019. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyz085

Hollamby A, Davelaar EJ, Cadar D. Increased Physical Fitness Is Associated with Higher Executive Functioning in People with Dementia. Frontiers in Public Health, 2017, 5,346. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2017.00346.

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