Dr Belinda Brown
BSc, PhD

Research Fellow

About me

My research is primarily focused on understanding the role of lifestyle in maintaining a healthy ageing brain and preventing cognitive decline and dementia. My previous work has identified a role of physical activity in: reducing toxic brain proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, enhancing cognitive function, and maintaining brain volume. I currently hold an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship, in which I am building on my previous research to investigate the role of exercise intensity on cognitive function and brain MRI biomarkers.

Current projects

The Intense Physical Activity and Cognition (IPAC) study
Co-CIs: Dr Jeremiah Peiffer
This project is a 6 month exercise intervention, examining the effect of high-intensity exercise on cognitive function, brain MRI markers and relevant blood biomarkers.

The Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study
Led by: Prof Ralph Martins at Edith Cowan University and Prof Colin Masters and The University of Melbourne
A large multi-disciplinary study of older adults aimed at identifying which biomarkers,cognitive characteristics and lifestyle factors determine subsequent development of symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.

The Western Australia Memory Study
Led by: Dr Hamid Sohrabi, Prof Ralph Martins at Edith Cowan University
An innovative study of ageing aimed at identifying links between ageing, psychological parameters and blood biomarkers.


Awards and grants

Brain Foundation Research Gift ($20,000) 2017
The effect of high-intensity exercise on Alzheimer’s disease-related gene expression
Chief Investigator: Belinda Brown
Co-investigators: Simon Laws, Jeremiah Peiffer, Stephanie Rainey-Smith and Ralph Martins

NHMRC/ARC National Institute of Dementia Dementia Research Development Fellowship ($600,079) 2016-2019
The role of intense physical activity in protecting the ageing brain

Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation
Post-doctoral Research Fellowship ($110,000), 2014 – 2015
The influence of exercise intensity on the prevention of cognitive decline in older adults

Edith Cowan University Early Career Researcher Grant ($25,000) 2015
Exercise intensity and cognition in the elderly

 Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Rosemary Foundation Travel Grant ($15,000) 2015
Travel to the Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh





  • Fernando, B., Rainey-Smith, S., Gardener, S., Villemagne, V., Burnham, S., Macaulay, S., Brown, B., Gupta, V., Sohrabi, H., Weinborn, M., Taddei, K., Laws, S., Goozee, K., Ames, D., Fowler, C., Maruff, P., Masters, C., Salvado, O., Rowe, C., Martins, R., (2018), Associations of dietary protein and fibre intake with brain and blood amyloid beta, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 61, 4, pages 1589 - 1598.
  • Martins, R., Villemagne, V., Sohrabi, H., Chatterjee, P., Shah, T., Verdile, G., Fraser, P., Taddei, K., Gupta, V., Rainey-Smith, S., Hone, E., Pedrini, S., Lim, W., Martins, I., Frost, S., Gupta, S., O'Bryant, S., Rembach, A., Ames, D., Ellis, K., Fuller, S., Brown, B., Gardener, S., Fernando, B., Bharadwaj, P., Burnham, S., Laws, S., Barron, A., Goozee, K., Wahjoepramono, E., Asih, P., Doecke, J., Salvado, O., Bush, A., Rowe, C., Gandy, S., Masters, C., (2018), Alzheimers disease: a journey from amyloid peptides and oxidative stress, to biomarker technologies and disease prevention strategies gains from AIBL and DIAN cohort studies, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 62, 3, pages 965 - 992.
  • Brown, B., Sohrabi, H., Taddei, K., Gardener, S., Rainey-Smith, S., Peiffer, J., Xiong, C., Fagan, A., Benzinger, T., Buckles, V., Erickon, K., Clarnette, R., Shah, T., Masters, C., Weiner, M., Cairns, N., Rossor, M., Graff-Radford, N., Salloway, S., Voglein, J., Laske, C., Noble, J., Schofield, P., Bateman, R., Morris, J., Martins, R., (2017), Habitual exercise levels are associated with cerebral amyloid load in presymptomatic autosomal dominant Alzheimers disease, Alzheimer's & Dementia, 13, 11, pages 1197 - 1206.
  • Brown, B., Rainey-Smith, S., Castalanelli, N., Gordon, N., Markovic, S., Sohrabi, H., Weinborn, M., Laws, S., Doecke, J., Shen, K., Martins, R., Peiffer, J., (2017), Study protocol of the Intense Physical Activity and Cognition (IPAC) study: The effect of high-intensity exercise training on cognitive function in older adults, Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, 3, 4, pages 562 - 570.
  • Carlson-Hawke, P., Brown, B., Hammond, S., (2017), Anxiety and its Features in Parkinson's Disease, SM Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience, 3, 1, pages 1 - 5.
  • Marston, K., Newton, M., Brown, B., Rainey-Smith, S., Bird, S., Martins, R., Peiffer, J., (2017), Intense resistance exercise increases peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20, , pages 899 - 903.
  • Chatterjee, P., Lim, W., Shui, G., Gupta, V., James, I., Fagan, A., Xiong, C., Sohrabi, H., Taddei, K., Brown, B., Benzinger, T., Masters, C., Snowden, S., Wenk, M., Bateman, R., Morris, J., Martins, R., (2016), Plasma Phospholipid and Sphingolipid Alterations in Presenilin1 Mutation Carriers: A Pilot Study, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 50, 3, pages 887 - 894.
  • Sohrabi, H., Bates, K., Weinborn, M., Bucks, R., Rainey-Smith, S., Rodrigues, M., Bird, S., Brown, B., Beilby, J., Howard, M., Criddle, A., Wraith, M., Taddei, K., Martins, G., Paton, A., Shah, T., Dhaliwal, S., Mehta, P., Foster, J., Martins, I., Lautenschlager, N., Mastaglia, F., Laws, S., Martins, R., (2015), Bone mineral density, adiposity, and cognitive functions, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7, 0, pages 0 - 0.
  • Brown, B., Peiffer, J., Burnham, S., Laws, S., Rainey-Smith, S., Villemagne, V., Taddei, K., Bush, A., Ellis, A., Macaulay, S., Rowe, C., Ames, D., Masters, C., Maruff, P., Martins, R., (2014), Influence of BDNF Val66Met on the relationship between physical activity and brain volume, Neurology, 83, 15, pages 1345 - 1352.
  • Brown, B., Peiffer, J., Martins, R., (2013), Multiple effects of physical activity on molecular and cognitive signs of brain aging: can exercise slow neurodegeneration and delay Alzheimer's disease?, Molecular Psychiatry, 18, 8, pages 864 - 874.
  • Brown, B., Brown, B., Peiffer, J., Taddei, K., Lui, J., Laws, S., Gupta, V., Taddei, T., Ward, V., Rodrigues, M., Burnham, S., Rainey-Smith, S., Villemagne, V., Bush, A., Ellis, K., Masters, C., Ames, D., Macaulay, S., Szoeke, C., Rowe, C., Martins, R., (2013), Physical activity and amyloid-beta plasma and brain levels: results from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing, Molecular Psychiatry, 18, 8, pages 875 - 881.
  • Doecke, J., Laws, S., Faux, N., Wilson, W., Burnham, S., Lam, C., Mondal, A., Bedo, J., Bush, A., Brown, B., De Ruyck, K., Ellis, K., Fowler, C., Gupta, V., Head, R., Macaulay, S., Pertile, K., Rowe, C., Rembach, A., Rodrigues, M., Rumble, R., Szoeke, C., Taddei, K., Taddei, T., Trounson, B., Ames, D., Masters, C., Martins, R., (2012), Blood-Based Protein Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease, Archives of Neurology, 69, 10, pages 1318 - 1325.
  • Brown, B., Peiffer, J., Sohrabi, H., Mondal, A., Gupta, V., Rainey-Smith, S., Taddei, K., Burnham, S., Ellis, K., Szoeke, C., Masters, C., Ames, D., Rowe, C., Martins, R., (2012), Intense physical activity is associated with cognitive performance in the elderly, Translational Psychiatry, 2, 2012, pages e191 -.