• Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Mental health in older adults
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Prevention of cognitive decline



  • NL is an academic old age psychiatrist who received her undergraduate and postgraduate training at the Technical University in Munich, Germany. From 10/00 to 06/08 NL worked at the University of Western Australia in Perth where her last position was Professor in Old Age Psychiatry and Deputy Head of School. In 06/08 she took up the position of University of Melbourne Professor of Old Age Psychiatry. NL is the Director of Research for the North Western Mental Health, Aged Persons Mental Health Program at Melbourne Health. Her current research focus is diagnosis of cognitive impairment and intervention trials for older adults to improve mental health outcomes.    


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Since her publication in JAMA in 2008 (NT Lautenschlager et al.: Effects of physical activity on cognitive function in older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. JAMA 2008;300(9):1027-1037), which was NHMRC funded research and the first publication to show evidence in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) that physical activity can have a significant positive impact on the cognition of older adults at risk for cognitive decline, NL is considered an international expert in non-pharmacological interventions for older adults at risk of cognitive decline, MCI and dementia. Subsequently NL and investigators received NHMRC funding to conduct a modified version of this physical activity program in an RCT with patients with Alzheimer’s Disease to investigate whether physical activity could be of benefit to quality of life, cognition, behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and carer burden (EV Cyarto, KL Cox, OP Almeida, L Flicker, D Ames, G Byrne, KD Hill, CD Beer, D LoGiudice, Appadurai, M Irish, E Renehan and NT Lautenschlager: The Fitness for the Ageing Brain Study II (FABSII): protocol for a randomized controlled clinical trial evaluating the effect of physical activity on cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Trials 2010,11:120.).This trial is ongoing, but so far the adherence of participants in the trial is remarkable high. Her most recent NHMRC project grant as CIA (APP1005942) is continuing the successful journey of NHMRC funded research into physical activity and cognition with investigating whether a physical activity program can change biological outcomes such as the progression of white matter changes on MRI in participants with memory complaints and vascular risk factors. The participants are recruited out of the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle study of Ageing (AIBL) (CSRIO/SIEF funded) and this RCT is the first intervention offered to AIBL participants. NL is a member of the clinical expert panel of the A   


Education and training

  • SPPP, 2000
  • MD, Technical University of Munich 1994
  • MD, Technical University of Munich 1993

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 2007


Available for supervision

  • Y