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Hurvitz Brain Sciences

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Mary Tierney
Dr. Mary Catherine Tierney

Affiliate scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room E3 49
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4291
Fax: 416-480-6776

Clinical Profile

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Dr. Mary Tierney is a professor and clinician-scientist in the department of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is a clinical neuropsychologist and director of the primary care research unit at Sunnybrook. She also leads the women, gender, sex and dementia cross-cutting program of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging.

Research Profile

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Administrative Assistant: Geneva Millett
Phone: 416-480-4753
Fax: 416-480-4536


  • B.Sc., 1971, psychology, University of Toronto, Canada
  • MA, 1972, psychology, University of Windsor, Canada
  • PhD, 1977, psychology, University of Windsor, Canada

Appointment and Affiliations:

  • Affiliate scientist, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Hurvtiz Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Professor, department of family and community medicine, U of T
  • Clinician scientist, department of family and community medicine, U of T 
  • Director, primary care research unit, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Neuropsychologist, veterans centre, Sunnybrook
  • Full Member, School of Graduate Studies and Institute of Medical Science, U of T

Research Foci:

  • Sex differences and early prediction of cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Neuropsychological sequelae of endocrine therapy in older women with breast cancer
  • Effect of hormone therapy on cognition in postmenopausal women
  • Prediction of harm in cognitively impaired seniors who live alone

Research Summary:

Dr. Tierney’s research focuses on neuropsychological aspects of dementia including sex differences, early identification and differential diagnosis with the goal to improve care and treatment of older people with dementia. She is also interested in the role of estrogen in cognitive function throughout a woman’s life and the factors that influence this which include menopause, exercise and breast cancer treatments.

Dr. Tierney is undertaking a study to examine the neuropsychological sequelae of anti-estrogen treatments in older women. She has examined the utility of computerized cognitive assessment tools in primary care to assist with early identification of cognitive loss in older patients.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Tierney MC, Naglie G, Upshur R, Jaakkimainen RL, Moineddin R, Charles J, Ganguli M. Factors associated with primary care physicians’ recognition of cognitive impairment in their older patients. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2014;28(4):320–325.
  2. Tierney MC, Naglie G, Upshur R, Moineddin R, Charles J, Jaakkimainen RL. Feasibility and validity of the self-administered computerized assessment of mild cognitive impairment with older primary care patients. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2014;28(4):311–319.
  3. Tierney MC, Ryan J, Ancelin ML, Moineddin R, Rankin S, Yao C, MacLusky NJ. Lifelong estrogen exposure and memory in older postmenopausal women. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2013;34(3):601–609.
  4. Brewster P, McDowell I, Moineddin R, Tierney MC. Differential prediction of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in nondemented adults within five years of initial testing. Alzheimer’s and Dementia. 2012;8(6):528–535.
  5. Tierney MC, Moineddin R, Morra A, Manson, J, Blake J. Intensity of long-term recreational physical activity and later life cognitive functioning in women. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2010;22(4)1331–1338.

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