Clinical Ageing Research Unit

Staff Profiles

Dr Rachael Lawson

Parkinson’s UK Senior Research Fellow

Background


Current Role


I am the Janet Owens Parkinson's UK Senior Research Fellow leading the Defining delirium and its impact in Parkinson’s Disease (DELIRIUM-PD) study.


Previous Roles



  • Research Associate on the "Incidence of Cognitive Impairment in Cohorts with Longitudinal Evaluation in Parkinson's Disease (ICICLE-PD)" study.
  • Chief Investigator of the "Identifying delirium in people with Parkinson’s disease (DETERMINE-PD)" study.
  • Co-investigator on the "Structural Retinal Changes: A biomarker for dementia in Parkinson’s disease?" study.
  • Research Assistant on the "Prospective Study of Mood States in Parkinson’s Disease (PROMS-PD)" study .


Areas of expertise

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Neuropsychology
  • Delirium
  • Quality of life
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms


Qualifications

  • PhD, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, 2016
  • MSc, Health Psychology, University of Nottingham, 2008
  • BSc, Joint Honours Mathematics and Psychology, 2007


Memberships

  • British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist
  • International and Parkinson Movement Disorders Society
  • Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases (DemaNDs) Research Group


Other

Google Scholar

SCOPUS

Research

I am the Janet Owens Parkinson's UK Senior Research Fellow. My background is in psychology and my research focus has been in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementias over the last ten years. I have a particular interest in the neuropsychology of Parkinson's disease and delirium. I have successfully coordinated and managed the research studies I have worked on, which included longitudinal studies with large numbers of participants. I have an interest in mathematics and statistics, and have undertaken additional training in advanced statistics to analyse complex, longitudinal data. My work has given valuable insight into both patients’ and clinicians’ experience of Parkinson’s disease; I am passionate in research that will ultimately improve the care and quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease.


Current and previous studies

  • Defining delirium and its impact in Parkinson’s Disease (DELIRIUM-PD), Chief Investigator.
  • Incidence of Cognitive Impairment in Cohorts with Longitudinal Evaluation in Parkinson’s Disease (ICICLE-PD), Research Associate.
  • Identifying delirium in people with Parkinson’s disease (DETERMINE-PD), Chief Investigator.
  • Structural Retinal Changes: A biomarker for dementia in Parkinson’s disease? Co-investigator.
  • Prospective Study of Mood States in Parkinson’s Disease (PROMS-PD), Research Assistant.


Teaching

Teaching and supervision

Jan 2017 – present: MRes Supervisor for Neuroscience and Medical Science, Newcastle University. Four previous students: three awarded Distinctions.

Oct 2015 - present:  Undergraduate teaching and essay supervisors for PSY1001: Psychological Enquiry, BSc Psychology, Newcastle University.

Mar 2013- present: “An Introduction to Qualitative Methods”, Critical Appraisal Module, The Northern Deanery MRCPsych course. Module leader: Dr Sumeet Gupta.


Publications