Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Sarah Richardson

Alzheimer's Society Clinician Tr Fellow


I am a Geriatric Medicine Trainee in the Northern Deanery.  I am currently spending 3 years out of programme completing a PhD funded by an Alzheimer's Society Clinician Training Fellowship.  My research interests are delirium and dementia.  More information about my study can be found under the 'Research' tab.  I also hold an Honorary Clinical Contract with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.






DECIDE: DElirium and Cognitive Impact in DEmentia

Delirium is a medical word used to describe a change in brain function which makes a person become suddenly confused. Their attention, behaviour and concentration may also be affected.  The symptoms can come on quickly and change from hour to hour.

Delirium is common, particularly among people with dementia, older people and those in hospital. Delirium usually gets better within a few days to weeks. However, there is some evidence that delirium may cause permanent damage to the brain. It may make people more likely to develop dementia in the future. In people with dementia, it may make their dementia worse. Unfortunately, we do not understand these effects of delirium very well.

Previous work has shown there are ways we can prevent some cases of delirium or make the problem get better faster.

This study aims to understand more about delirium and the effect it has on dementia because it may be a cause of dementia we can reduce or prevent.

The people to be approached are part of a larger dementia study called the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study-II (CFAS-II).  They have regular memory tests.  If any of these people come into hospital during the study they will be tested for delirium. They will be monitored for delirium during their hospital stay. They will be seen at home one year later for a memory test to see whether their memory has got worse.  The before and after memory tests of those with and without delirium will be compared.

Expected outcomes:
This study will increase our knowledge of delirium and the effect it has on dementia.  In the future, preventing delirium may be an important part of dementia prevention.

Click on the following link to read more about my study: