Research Interests

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.

Selected Publications

Elias, M. F., Crichton, G. E., Dearborn, P. J., Robbins, M. F., & Abhayaratna, W. P. (2017). Associations between type 2 diabetes mellitus and arterial stiffness: A prospective analysis based on the Maine-Syracuse Study. Pulse, 5, 88-98,

Torres, R. V., Elias, M. F., Crichton, G. E., Dore, G. A., & Davey, A. (2017). Systolic orthostatic hypotension is related to lowered cognitive function: Findings from the Maine-Syracuse Study. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 19, 1357-1365.  

Dore, G. A., Elias, M. F., Crichton, G. E., & Robbins, M. A. (2017). Age modifies the relation between intraindividual measurement-to-measurement variation in blood pressure and cognitive function: the Maine-Syracuse Study. Journal of Hypertension, 35. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000001510

Crichton, G. E., Elias, M. F., Dearborn, P., & Robbins, M. (2017). Habitual chocolate intake and type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study: (1975-2010): Prospective observations. Appetite, 108, 263-269.  

Dearborn, P.J., Robbins, M.A. & Elias, M.F. (2016) Challenging the “jolly fat” hypothesis among older adults: High body mass index predicts increases in depressive symptoms over a 5-year period. Journal of Health Psychology, 21, 1-11.

Crichton, G. E., Elias, M. F., & Robbins, M. (2016). Association between depressive symptoms, use of antidepressant medication and the metabolic syndrome: The Maine-Syracuse Study. BMC Public Health, 16, 502. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3170-2

Crichton, G. E., Elias, M. F., Alkerwi, A., & Abhayaratna, W. (2016). Relation of habitual chocolate consumption to arterial stiffness in a community-based sample: Preliminary findings. Pulse, 4, 28-37.

Crichton, G. E., Elias, M. F., & Alkerwi, A. (2016). Chocolate  intake is associated with better cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. Appetite, 100, 126-132.   doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.02.010