Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Jennifer Cavallari, Dr. Julie Robison, Dr. George Kuchel

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


Aims: To examine the effectiveness of the current diagnostic and treatment approach of overactive bladder (OAB) and the relative impact of cognition on what is currently a bladder-centric condition. Methods: A review of the literature on OAB from the population to organ/brain level was conducted. The impact of age-induced bladder dysfunction via cognitive changes to sensory integration and attention control are discussed. Results: OAB uses bladder-centric terminology to represent a collection of symptoms with inconsistent and often unknown pathology. Proposed etiologies and therapeutic models for overactive bladder focus on the bladder organ, but evidence suggests that age-related degradation to inhibitory neural circuits and attentional switching mechanisms may enhance myogenic dysfunction or be implicated in idiopathic diagnoses. There is potential for cognitive-level interventions and research that may reduce the significant public health burden of OAB and related bladder dysfunctions. Conclusions: The influence of cognitive dysfunctions on bladder control emerges as a potentially substantial determinant of population OAB burden.

Major Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Cavallari