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Faculty - Merrill F. Elias


Dr. Elias PictureMerrill F. (Pete) Elias
Phone: 207-581-2051
merrill.elias@umit.maine.edu

My research focuses on cardiovascular risk factors in relation to cognitive functioning in non-demented individuals. Risk factors I have studied include hypertension, risk for future stroke, plasma homocysteine, ApoE-e4 genotype, diabetes mellitus, left ventricular mass, obesity, central adiposity, atrial fibrillation, angina, and depressed mood. My current interest is in relating pulse wave velocity (a measure of arterial stiffness) to cognition and relations between mild renal dysfunction and cognition. My studies, and those of my students, are done in a life-span developmental context and involve cross-sectional differences and longitudinal designs. Much of the data for my work, and the work of my students, comes from our own Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (begun in 1975), the Framingham Heart Study and Framingham Offspring Study. My teaching interests are experimental design, biostatistics and epidemiological approaches to the study of cognitive functioning.

I live on the coast of Maine and enjoy kayaking, stone wall building, woods work, and grand-parenting Jessica, a sable and white collie.

 

Sample Publications:

  • Davey A, Elias MF, Robbins MA, Seliger SL, Dore GA. (2012). Decline in renal functioning is associated with longitudinal decline in global cognitive functioning, abstract reasoning and verbal memory. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs470.
  • Elias, M. F., Goodell, A. L., & Waldstein, S. R. (2012). Obesity, cognitive function, and dementia: Back to the future. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease30 (Suppl 2), S113-S125.
  • Crichton, G. E., Elias, M. F., Buckley, J. D., Murphy, K. J., Bryan, J., & Frisardi, V. (2012). Metabolic syndrome, cognitive performance, and dementia. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease30 (Suppl 2), S77-S87.
  • Elias, M. F., Goodell, A. L., & Dore, G. A. (2012).  Hypertension and cognitive functioning: A perspective in historical context. Hypertension, 60, 260-268.
  • Elias, M. F., Dore, G. A., Davey, A., Robbins, M. A., & Elias, P. K. (2010).  From blood pressure to physical disability: The role of cognition.  Hypertension, 55, 1360-1365.  [pdf]
  • Dore, G. A., Elias, M. F., Robbins, M. A., Elias, P. K., Nagy, Z. (2009).  Presence of the APOE ε4 allele modifies the relationship between type 2 diabetes and cognitive performance: The Maine–Syracuse Study. Diabetologia, 52, 2551-2560.  [pdf]
  • Elias, M. F., Elias, P. K., Seliger, S. L., Narsipur, S. S., Dore, G. A. & Robbins, M. A. (2009). Chronic kidney disease, creatinine and cognitive functioning. Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation, 24, 2446-2452.  [pdf]
  • Elias, M. F., Robbins, M. A., Budge, M. M., Abhayaratna, W. P., Dore, G. A., & Elias, P. K. (2009). Arterial pulse wave velocity and cognition with advancing age. Hypertension, 53, 668-673.  [pdf]
  • Dore, G. A., Elias, M. F., Robbins, M. A., Budge, M. M., & Elias, P. K. (2008).  Relation between central adiposity and cognitive function in the Maine-Syracuse Study: Attenuation by physical activity.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 35, 341-350.
  • Elias, M.F., Robbins, M.A., Budge, M.M., Elias, P.K., Dore, G.A., Brennan, S.L., Johnston C., & Nagy, Z. (2008). Homocysteine and cognitive performance: Modification by the ApoE genotype. Neuroscience Letters, 430, 64-69.
  • Dore, G. A., Elias, M. F., Robbins, M. A., Budge, M. M., & Elias, P. K. (2008).  Relation between central adiposity and cognitive function in the Maine-Syracuse Study: Attenuation by physical activity.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 35(3), 341-350.
  • Elias, M. F., Sullivan, L. M., Elias, P. K., D’Agostino, R. B., Sr., Wolf, P. A. Seshadri, S., Au, R., Benjamin, E. J., & Vasan, R. S. (2007).  Left ventricular mass, blood pressure and lowered cognitive performance in the Framingham Offspring.  Hypertension, 49, 439-445. [pdf]
  • Elias, M. F., Sullivan, L. M., Elias, P. K., Vasan, R. S., D’Agostino, R. B., Seshadri, S., Au, R., Wolf, P. A., & Benjamin, E. J. (2006). Atrial fibrillation is associated with lower cognitive performance in the Framingham Offspring men.  Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 15, 214-222.
  • Elias, M. F., Robbins, M. A., Budge, M. M., Elias, P. K., Brennan, S. L., Johnston, C., Nagy, Z., & Bates, C. J., (2006).  Homocysteine, folate, vitamins B6 and B12 blood levels in relation to cognitive performance: The Maine-Syracuse Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 68, 547-554.  [pdf]
  • Elias, M. F., Sullivan, L. M., D’Agostino, R. B., Elias, P. K., Jacques, P. F., Selhub, J., Seshadri, S., Au, R., Beiser, A., & Wolf, P. A. (2005). Homocysteine and cognitive performance in the Framingham Offspring Study: Age is important. American Journal of Epidemiology, 162, 1-10.  [pdf]
  • Elias, P. K., Elias, M. F., D’Agostino, R. B., Sullivan, L. M., & Wolf, P. A. (2005). Serum cholesterol and cognitive performance in the Framingham Heart Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67, 24-30.  [pdf]
  • Elias, M. F., Sullivan, L. M., D’Agostino, R. B., Elias, P. K., Beiser, A., Au, R., Seshadri. S., DeCarli, C., & Wolf, P. A. (2004).  The Framingham stroke risk profile and lowered cognitive performance. Stroke35, 404-409.  [pdf]
  • Elias, M. F., Elias, P. K., Sullivan, L. M., Wolf, P. A., & D’Agostino, R. B.  (2003).  Lower cognitive function in the presence of obesity and hypertension: The Framingham Heart Study.  International Journal of Obesity, 27, 260-268.
  • Elias, M. F., Beiser, A., Wolf, P. A., Au, R., White, R. F., & D’Agostino, R. B. (2000).  The preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease:  A 22-year prospective study of the Framingham cohort.  Archives of Neurology, 57, 808-813.  [pdf]
 


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Psychology
301 Little Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5782
Phone: (207) 581-2030 | Fax: (207) 581-6128
E-mail: michael.robbins@umit.maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1865