Biostatistics and Disease Modelling

The Biostatistics and Disease Modelling group is lead by Dr. Graciela Muniz-Terrera and aims to apply and develop statistical tools to help best understand trajectories of cognitive and functional decline in ageing. Dr Muniz-Terrera and colleagues also provide support and advice to colleagues interested in the use of modern statistical tools in clinical trials.

Several methodological factors, including complex study designs, missing data, and psychometric properties of clinical data may bias, or skew, results. These factors need to be considered when models are fitted to data to best understand what is truly happening in a study. Advanced statistical techniques are therefore needed for an improved understanding of how individuals lose their cognitive and functional abilities as they develop dementia or as they age.

In addition to the application and development of  statistical methods to improve dementia prediction models, the group is also interested in the use and development of data harmonisation methods required to facilitate reproducible research. 

Relevant Publications

Muniz-Terrera G, Hout A van den, Rigby RA, Stasinopoulos DM. Analysing cognitive test data: Distributions and non-parametric random effects. Stat Methods Med Res. 2016;25(2):741-753.

Cooper R, Muniz-Terrera G, Kuh D. Associations of behavioural risk factors and health status with changes in physical capability over 10 years of follow-up: the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. BMJ Open. 2016;6(4):e009962. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009962.

Van den Hout A, Muniz-Terrera G. Joint models for discrete longitudinal outcomes in aging research. J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat. 2016;65(1):167-186.

Clouston S a P, Glymour MM, Terrera GM. Educational inequalities in aging-related declines in fluid cognition and the onset of cognitive pathology. Alzheimer’s Dement Diagnosis, Assess Dis Monit. 2015;1(3):303-310.

Hout A Van Den, Fox J, Muniz-Terrera G. Longitudinal mixed-effects models for latent cognitive function. Statistical Modelling 2015;15(4):366-387.

Terrera GM, Minett T, Brayne C, Matthews FE. Education associated with a delayed onset of terminal decline. Age Ageing. 2014;43:26-31.

Muniz-Terrera G, Bakra E, Hardy R, Matthews FE, Lunn D. Modelling life course blood pressure trajectories using Bayesian adaptive splines. Stat Methods Med Res. 2014.

Muniz-Terrera G, van den Hout A, Piccinin AM, Matthews FE, Hofer SM. Investigating terminal decline: results from a UK population-based study of aging. Psychol Aging. 2013;28(2):377-85.

Van Den Hout A, Muniz-Terrera G, Matthews FE. Change point models for cognitive tests using semi-parametric maximum likelihood. Comput Stat Data Anal. 2013;57(1):684-698. 

Social Sciences