María K. Jónsdóttir has a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology from the University of Houston in Texas, USA. Since 1991 she has worked at the Landspítali – The National University Hospital of Iceland and been a lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of Iceland. As her patients were getting too close to her in age she moved out of neurology and into geriatrics. However, she is all too aware of the fact that she will eventually catch up with her patients´age and is becoming increasingly interested in how to maintain cognitive health during the entire lifespan.
Brynhildur Jónsdóttir graduated with BA degree in psychology from the University of Iceland in 1994. The courses in physiological psychology and neuropsychology instigated a livelong passion for the brain and its workings. So, after 10 years of working within the Icelandic Ministry of Education and Science, she decided to make her dream come true and enroll in a research based M.S. program in her old university. The subject of the M.S. thesis was Alzheimer’s disease in its first stages. As students do, she spent days in the library, supposedly to familiarize herself with the disease process in the brain. Repeatedly though, she found herself immersed in a literature about the impact of healthy or normal aging on the brain and what distinguished those who did not experience any cognitive decline from those who did. Since then her goal is to reach 94 years of age, with a brain of a 35-year-old!
Photo (M.K. Jonsdottir) by Kristinn Ingvarsson, used with permission