Areas of Expertise (6)
Dr Liz Coulthard is Associate Professor in Dementia Neurology in the Bristol Medical School and a specialist in cognitive neurology applied to dementia. Her research goal is to identify and to treat early cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease with the aim of improving quality of life and slowing disease progression. Her current research sees her investigating the use of dopamine in enhancing older people’s sleep and memory. She is also a champion of how proper sleep patterns can bring about significant physical and mental health gains. In 2021, the work of Dr Coulthard and her team was recognised by sleep technology and app design company Dreem, which provided them with specialist sleep measuring devices for their work on the understanding of sleep, circadian rhythms and dopamine in neurodegenerative disease.
After her training as a doctor, Dr Coulthard was appointed as a consultant and has founded a dedicated research group: the ReMemBr group (Research into Memory, the Brain and Dementia), a vibrant and expanding multidisciplinary clinical research group within which clinicians and researchers work side by side.
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians UK
First runner up prize, Queen Square Symposium poster competition
Merit Award in Clinical Pharmacology
University of London: Ph.D. 2008
Royal Free and University College Hospitals Medical School: M.B.B.S. 1999
St John’s College, Oxford: B.A. 1996
Media Appearances (5)
Study explores the impact of lockdown on older people with or without dementia
News Medical Life Sciences online
Dr Liz Coulthard, Associate Professor in Dementia Neurology at the University of Bristol and neurologist at North Bristol NHS Trust, who is leading the study, said: "We hope to "crowd-source" sleep enhancement strategies so that they can be offered as an online resource for older people.
Research Snapshot: Dr Liz Coulthard 'How does poor sleep relate to Alzheimer's Disease?'
Alzheimer's Brace online
In this talk, Dr Liz talks about the process of sleeping and how it may be important in preventing the onset of dementia. Sleep is a very active process, one that is complementary to being awake. During the slow-wave stage of sleep, natural brain oscillations may be responsible for the filtering of toxins from the brain. One such toxin is amyloid, a protein which researchers have proven accumulates during dementia. By improving our sleep, we may be able to reduce the amount of amyloid and therefore reduce our risk of dementia.
It's official, napping is good for you and don't let anybody tell you otherwise
Dr Liz Coulthard, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Dementia Neurology at the University of Bristol Medical School said: "The findings are remarkable in that they can occur in the absence of initial intentional, conscious awareness, by processing of implicitly presented cues beneath participants' conscious awareness."
Short periods of sleep might enhance aspects of memory and thinking
Science Focus online
Daytime naps help the brain process information that’s hidden from conscious awareness. Neurologist Dr Liz Coulthard of the University of Bristol explains.
Indigestion pills taken by millions 'could raise the risk of dementia by 50%'
Daily Mail online
Dr Elizabeth Coulthard, a dementia expert at the University of Bristol, said: ‘It is important to identify risks for dementia in order to try and eliminate them. ‘However, this paper does not tell us that using a proton pump inhibitor causes dementia. ‘One important factor that is associated with both proton pump inhibitor use and dementia is body weight and body weight is not recorded in this study.’
Mixed neuropathology in frontotemporal lobar degenerationAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
2020 Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a significant cause of dementia in mid-life and older adults. The extent of interactions between FTLD and other neurodegenerative pathologies is unclear. We reviewed the occurrences of mixed pathology in cases of neuropathologically diagnosed FTLD from the UK Brain Bank Network. Materials and methods: Clinicopathological details of cases of FTLD were extracted from the UK Brain Bank Network database.
Sleep quality, mental health and circadian rhythms during COVID lockdown: Results from the SleepQuest StudymedRxiv
2020 Behavioural responses to COVID19 lockdown will define the long-term impact of psychological stressors on sleep and brain health. Here we tease apart factors that help protect against sleep disturbance. We capitalise on the unique restrictions during COVID19 to understand how time of day of daylight exposure and outside exercise interact with chronotype and sleep quality.
Dopamine-gated memory selection during slow wave sleepBioRxiv
2020 The human brain selectively stores knowledge of the world to optimise future behaviour, automatically rehearsing, contextualising or discarding information to create a robust record of experiences. Storage or forgetting evolves over time, particularly during sleep. We sought to test how dopamine shaped long term memory formation before and during sleep.
Measuring brain integrity using MRI: a novel biomarker for Alzheimers disease using T2 relaxometrymedRxiv
2020 Early Alzheimer9s disease diagnosis is vital for development of disease-modifying therapies. Prior to significant loss of brain tissue, several microstructural changes take place as a result of Alzheimer9s pathology. These include deposition of amyloid, tau and iron, as well as altered water homeostasis in tissue and some cell death. T2 relaxation time, a quantitative MRI measure, is sensitive to these changes and may be a useful non-invasive, early marker of tissue integrity which could predict conversion to dementia.
Prospective memory in prodromal Alzheimer's disease: Real world relevance and correlations with cortical thickness and hippocampal subfield volumesNeuroImage: Clinical
2020 Prospective memory (PM) is a marker of independent living in Alzheimer's disease. PM requires cue identification (prospective component) and remembering what should happen in response to the cue (retrospective component). We assessed neuroanatomical basis and functional relevance of PM.