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Naiara Demnitz



+45 3862 6446



Research Interests

The overarching aim of my work is to understand how modifiable lifestyle factors can help promote healthy brain ageing. To that end, my research combines magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) and neuropsychological assessments to characterise the relationship
between lifestyle factors such as physical activity and mobility, and the brain structure and
function of older adults.

Research Groups

Healthy Ageing group

Curriculum Vitae



PhD in Psychiatry, University of Oxford


MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London


BSc in Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol


2020 - Present

Postdoc at DRCMR

2019 - 2020

Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College Dublin

2018 - 2019

Postdoc at the University of Oxford

2014 - 2015

Research Assistant at the University of Oxford


Demnitz, N., Anatürk, M., Allan, C.L., Filippini, N., Griffanti, L., Mackay, C.E., ... & Zsoldos, E. (2020). Association of trajectories of depressive symptoms with vascular risk, cognitive function and adverse brain outcomes: The Whitehall II MRI sub-study, medRxiv.

Demnitz, N., Topiwala, A., Zsoldos, E., Stagg, C.J., Emir, U.E., Johansen-Berg, H., ... & Sexton, C.E. (2020). Alcohol consumption is associated with reduced creatine levels in the hippocampus of older adults. Psychiatry Research: NeuroImaging, 295, 111019.

Sexton, C.E., Betts, J.F., Deniss, A., Doherty, A., Leeson, P., Holloway, C., Dall'Armellina, E., Winkler, A., Demnitz, N., Wassenaar, T., Dawes, H. & Johansen-Berg, H. (2020). The effects of an aerobic training intervention on cognition, grey matter volumes and white matter microstructure. Physiology & Behavior, 223, 112923. 

Valkanova, V., Esser, P., Demnitz, N., Sexton, C.E., Zsoldos, E., Mahmood, A., ... & Ebmeier, K.P. (2018). Association between gait and cognition in an elderly population based sample. Gait & posture, 65, 240-245. 

Stathi, A., Withall, J., Greaves, C.J., Thompson, J.L., Taylor, G., Medina-Lara, A., Green, C., Bilzon, J., Gray, S., Johansen-Berg, H., Sexton, C.E., Western, M.J., de Koning, J.L., Bollen, J.C., Moorlock, S.J., Demnitz, N., Seager, P., Guralnick, J.M., Rejeski, W. & Fox, K. (2018). A community-based physical activity intervention to prevent mobility-related disability for retired older people (REtirement in ACTion (REACT)): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 19(1), 228. 

Demnitz, N., Hogan, D.B., Dawes, H., Johansen-Berg, H., Ebmeier, K.P., Poulin, M.J. & Sexton, C.E. (2018). Cognition and mobility show a global association in middle- and late-adulthood: Analyses from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Gait & posture, 64, 238-243. 

Demnitz, N., Zsoldos, E., Mahmood, A., Mackay, C.E., Kivimäki, M., Singh-Manoux, A., ... & Sexton, C.E. (2017). Associations between mobility, cognition, and brain structure in healthy older adults. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 9, 155.  

Demnitz, N., Esser, P., Dawes, H., Valkanova, V., Johansen-Berg, H., Ebmeier, K.P. & Sexton, C.E. (2016). A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies examining the relationship between mobility and cognition in healthy older adults. Gait & posture, 50, 164-174.

Sexton, C.E., Betts, J.F., Demnitz, N., Dawes, H., Ebmeier, K.P. & Johansen-Berg, H. (2016). A systematic review of MRI studies examining the relationship between physical fitness and activity and the white matter of the ageing brain. Neuroimage, 131, 81-90.