Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Louise Allan

Clinical Senior Lecturer/ Consultant


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.


PhD (Newcastle)


MA (Oxford)

BMBCh (Oxford) 

BA (Hons) (Oxford) 

Honorary NHS appointments

Honorary Consultant Geriatrician, Newcastle upon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.


Other roles and responsibilities


·         Clinical lead for Dementia, Northern Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health, Dementia and Neurological Conditions

·         Dementia lead, Dementia and Related Disorders Section, British Geriatrics Society

·         Right Care Task Force member, National Dementia Action Alliance (a taskforce of senior policymakers and clinicians coordinating the Dementia Friendly Hospitals campaign)

·         Member of the North East Dementia Alliance Steering Group

·         Clinical Dementia Lead, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation trust



My research focusses on three themes:

1.       Vascular Cognitive Impairment

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.

2.       Lewy Body disease

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.

3.       Physical health in dementia

I have previously published work on the risk factors for falls in people with dementia, and am currently leading an NIHR funded Health Technology Assessment Programme to investigate whether it is possible to design a complex intervention to improve 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 are now undertaking with the CFAS II cohort.

Research Grants

LM Allan et al: Is it possible to develop a complex intervention to improve the outcome of fall-related injuries in people with dementia? Principal Investigator NIHR HTA Project 13/78/02 £513,008, (2015-2017).

S Richardson, LM Allan, S Parker: DECIDE: Delirium and Cognitive Impact in Dementia, Supervisor, Alzheimer’s Society Research Fellowship, £217,232, (2015-2018).

L Robinson et al: North East Dementia Hub: an information resource for professionals and the public. Academic Health Sciences Network (Northern). £110,000, (2014-2015).

John O'Brien et al: Improving the Diagnosis and Management of Dementias of Lewy Body Type in the NHS (DIAMOND-Lewy) NIHR Programme grant, £1,195,337, (2013-2018).

LM Allan: “The validation of brief cognitive screening instruments and determination of the prevalence of dementia in Geriatric Medical Outpatients”. Principal Investigator, Research grant, Newcastle Healthcare Charity & Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity, £41,180 (2008-2009).

RA Kenny, LM Allan, CG Ballard, IG McKeith: “Neurocardiovascular instability in dementia; prevalence and consequences”. Co-investigator, Project Grant, PPP Healthcare Medical Trust, £168 420 (2001-2005).

LM Allan, RA Kenny, CG Ballard: Alzheimer’s Society Research Fellowship: “What causes neurocardiovascular instability in dementia and how can it be treated?” £123 720 (2001-2004).




PhD students

Dr Rufus Akinyemi (2009-2014).

Vincent Foster (2012-2015)

Dr Ellen Tullo

Dr Sarah Richardson

I teach on the MRes and MSc Ageing modules and I also supervise MClinRes students.


I teach on the MBBS and BMS undergraduate programmes.


Professional education

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.

Educational Grant

L Allan: Delirium Roadshow: A training programme for hospitals in the North East. Health education North East £20,000 (2015-2016).