I am a Geriatrician with a specialist interest in the Neurology and Psychiatry of Old Age, and my research interests include the non-Alzheimer’s dementias and the physical health of people with dementia. I am a principal investigator in the Dementia and Neurodegenerative Disorders (DEMANDS) Research group, within the Institute of Neuroscience. I collaborate closely with colleagues in the Institute for Health and Society.
BA (Hons) (Oxford)
Honorary Consultant Geriatrician, Newcastle upon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.
My research focusses on three themes:
This work includes the long term follow up of the MRC funded COGFAST cohort, one of the world’s largest and longest running clinicopathological cohort studies of people with cerebrovascular disease. We have reported on the long term incidence and neuropathological features of dementia and depression after stroke, and in particular identified that delayed dementia after stroke is primarily associated with predominantly vascular rather than mixed pathology.
We have also established a Nigerian cohort (COGFAST-Nigeria), which will enable comparisons of Vascular Cognitive Impairment between developed and developing countries, the latter being an increasingly important setting for dementia research due to the expanding and ageing demographics in the developing world.
The investigation of Lewy Body disorders is an important focus of research for the DEMANDS group and we host an NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body disease. I am a co-investigator in the DIAMOND-Lewy study, an NIHR funded programme grant which aims to improve the diagnosis and management of Lewy body disorders including Dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s Disease dementia.
I have an interest in autonomic dysfunction in dementia, and previous work in the MRC funded Lewy Body Disease cohort study has shown that autonomic dysfunction is a particularly common feature of the Lewy body dementias and an important risk factor for falls.
I have previously published work on the risk factors for falls in people with dementia, and future development of this theme is planned with the aim of preventing falls and improving the outcome of fall related injuries in dementia.
I have recently completed a study investigating the use of brief cognitive screening instruments for the detection of cognitive impairment in older people presenting to Geriatric Medical services, and we are currently investigating the validity of the recent Dementia and Delirium CQUIN in detecting dementia in people admitted to acute hospitals.
During my research into dementia delirium has emerged as a significant theme which needs further investigation. We have recently worked on the validation of methods of detecting delirium retrospectively from hospital notes. We are now using this methodology to explore the role of the delirium in exacerbating cognitive decline in people who participated in the CFAS I study and we also plan to examine our previous disease specific cohorts. However, for a fuller understanding of the role of delirium as a potential cause of and exacerbating factor in dementia it is essential that we undertake prospective studies which we plan to undertake with the CFAS II cohort.
I have an interest in the improvement of medical education about cognitive disorders and supervise a PhD student working in this area.
Dr Rufus Akinyemi (2009-2014).
Dr Ellen Tullo
I teach on the MRes and MSc Ageing modules and I also supervise MClinRes students.
I teach on the MBBS and BMS undergraduate programmes.
I also teach about cognitive disorders to junior doctors, nurses and allied health professionals within the Newcastle Hospitals.
I am an investigator the North East Dementia Hub: an information resource for professionals and the public. £110,000 funded by the Academic Health Sciences Network (Northern). 2014-2015.