Cognition and Hypertension in Midlife

Terrie Vasilopoulos, Post-Doc, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, will present "Cognition and Hypertension in Midlife: Evidence for Gene-Environment Interplay" on Thursday, January 10 as part of the Demography Workshop.

Developmental behavior genetic studies indicate that genetic influences on cognition over the life course are dynamic and can be modified by environmental factors. However, while some environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status, significantly interact with the genetic factors that underlie early life cognition, these same gene-environment interactions are not evident for adult cognition. This suggests that there are developmental differences in the type of environmental factors that interact with the genes influencing cognitive ability.

Terrie Vasilopoulos is a behavioral geneticist and gerontologist whose research focuses on understanding health and aging from a biopsychosocial perspective. Using a biopsychosocial model, she investigates both the complex interactions among cognition, physical function, and mental health and how the interrelationships of these factors change across adult development. In particular, through both her postdoctoral and graduate work, she has employed the twin design to estimate genetic and environmental influences on the relationships among cognitive, physical, and psychosocial health factors.

The weekly Demography Workshop series is held every Thursday from 12:00 – 1:20 p.m. at NORC at the University of Chicago in seminar room 232/233, located in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at 1155 East 60th Street.

For more information on the Demography Workshop series, visit the Population Research Center site.