Ying Xu


Postdoctoral Fellow

Ying Xu holds a PhD from the University of Sydney.  She is a postdoctoral fellow reporting to Dr. Ruth Peters, and a conjoint lecturer in the School of Psychology UNSW.  Before migrating to Sydney, Ying was a clinician in ophthalmologic residency training.  In the current position, she will use systematic review and advanced statistical approaches to exam how lifecourse high blood pressure increases the risk of cognitive decline or dementia.

Projects Ying Xu is currently involved with


The INTERGENERATION INTEGRATION project; supporting the building of intergenerational programs withi

There is increasing evidence to show that intergenerational interaction is beneficial for older adults and children alike. Higher levels of social engagement in older adults have been associated with better physical and cognitive function and wellbeing. Time spent with older adults has been linked to enhanced social and personal skills in children. However, familial intergenerational interaction is falling despite rising numbers of community-based older adults. In Australia alone approximately 15% of the total population are aged 65 and over, up from 5% in the 1920s and estimated to increase to 22% (8.8 million) in the next 30-40 years. Employment and economic factors drive greater geographical mobility of working age adults, resulting in increased separation from older family members with 40% of Australians aged 75-84 and 51% of those 85 and over living alone. Recent television series in Australia and the United Kingdom, have raised awareness and enthusiasm for intergenerational activities as an opportunity that could be realised within communities. However, while intergenerational programs are gaining in popularity globally, evidence for best practice in this area remains scarce.


This project will build and pilot a novel, evidence-based, co-designed Intergenerational Program Development toolkit targeted for community use and tailored to an Australian environment.


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The INTERGENERATION INTEGRATION project; supporting the building of intergenerational programs within communities

Eye biomarkers for cognitive impairment

This project is funded by the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute.  The aim of this project is to use fundus photography as a tool to identify those with greater risk of developing cognitive decline with a view to early intervention and risk reduction.  We will investigate the relationship between retinopathies and changes in brain structure.  A systematic review approach will be used to summarize current evidence on the epidemiology of co-existent eye diseases and dementia/cognitive impairment.


Eye biomarkers for cognitive impairment

The Life-Course Blood Pressure Cognition (LCBP-COG) study

The LCBP-COG study will provide us with a better understanding of the ways that high blood pressure can increase the risk of cognitive decline or dementia over the lifecourse.


The Life-Course Blood Pressure Cognition (LCBP-COG) study

The Dementia rIsk REduCTion (DIRECT) collaboration

We know that having high blood pressure increases the chance that we will develop dementia and cognitive decline as we grow older but we are still trying to understand whether using blood pressure lowering treatments (antihypertensives) can help to prevent this. To explore the relationship between blood pressure, blood pressure lowering and cognition we will combine global data from the highest quality placebo-controlled trials of antihypertensive drugs. This project will deliver knowledge and targeted clinical recommendations for antihypertensive use to support reduction of dementia risk.


The Dementia rIsk REduCTion (DIRECT) collaboration



Who is driving and who is prone to have traffic accidents? A systematic review and meta-analysis among people with seizures.

Xu Y, Zhou Z, Shanthosh J, Hackett ML, Anderson CS, Glozier N, Somerville E

Prevalence of Driving and Traffic Accidents among People with Seizures: A Systematic Review.

Xu Y, Shanthosh J, Zhou Z, Somerville E, Anderson CS, Glozier N, Hackett ML

Epilepsy influences the ability to drive. We undertook a systematic review to determine the prevalence of driving or holding a driver's license among people with seizures, the prevalence of traffic accidents among those who drive, and factors that may explain heterogeneity in these point estimates. There is considerable variation in the prevalence of driving after a diagnosis of epilepsy and in reported motor vehicle accidents. Further efforts are required to better understand the impact of epilepsy, and epilepsy surgery, on driving and road safety, especially where driving continues in violation of restrictions. Policy changes are needed to encourage the introduction of available and affordable alternatives for driving, for example, developing public transport networks, and promoting subsidy schemes to encourage use of public transport, taxis, Uber, and Lyft, among people experiencing seizures.

Disability patterns over the first year after a diagnosis of epilepsy.

Xu Y, Neuen DR, Glozier N, Nikpour A, Somerville E, Bleasel A, Ireland C, Anderson CS, Hackett ML

To determine the patterns and predictors of disability over the first 12 months after a diagnosis of epilepsy. Most people report problems with emotional health after a diagnosis of epilepsy but many recover over the next 12 months. Services addressing the social and psychological impact of diagnosis may be needed to improve outcome.

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