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EXPERT HUB

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PREVENTION

Focussing on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases and their progression to develop symptoms as observed in dementia

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Expertise

#prevention  #clinicaltrials  #cohorts  #riskfactors  #cognition

Craig is the Professor of Psychiatry of Ageing at the University of Edinburgh, Director of Edinburgh Dementia Prevention and Director of Brain Health Scotland.

Craig is internationally renowned for his work on the design and prosecution of clinical trials. He has been Principal Investigator for almost 30 commercial trials in Alzheimer’s disease, National Chief Investigator for 15 in the UK and Global Coordinating Investigator on 6.

Craig’s research focuses on early detection of disease and the promotion of brain health throughout the life-course to mitigate risks for development and progression of brain diseases that lead to dementia.

Craig is Chair of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (SDRC) and Chief Investigator of the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (EPAD) Consortium and the PREVENT Dementia Programme.

Prof Craig Ritchie
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Dr Vanessa Raymont

Vanessa is an academic old age psychiatrist working at the University of Oxford with a long standing interest in the late life cognitive effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as clinical trials in cognitive disorders and dementia.

 

Vanessa leads a number of studies focused on dementia prevention and is part of the Oxford Brain Health Clinic initiative. Vanessa is also director of the Oxford Brain Health Clinical Trials Unit, an associate director for Dementias Platforms UK2 and Dementia and Mental Health Lead for the Thames Valley and South Midlands Clinical Research Network.

Expertise

#clinicaltrials

#braininjury

#TBI

#prevention 

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Dr Lucy Stirland

Lucy is a psychiatrist undertaking specialist training in the care of older people. She is also a researcher, having completed a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh in 2020.

 

Lucy's research focuses on people who have many co-existing illnesses, particularly those with a mental illness or dementia. She studies the relationships between these conditions using data both from research studies and from the NHS. In her clinical work, Lucy assesses and treats older people with dementia and mental illnesses in the community and in hospital.

Expertise

#oldagepsychiatry

#multimorbidity

#polypharmacy
 

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Miles Welstead

Miles has a BSc and MSc in psychology which has led onto undertaking a PhD studying the individual differences in the causes and consequences of ageing.

 

In particular Miles is interested in the occurrence of frailty in later life and the risk and preventative factors associated with this.

 

Frailty can affect a vast number of people and being able to identify those who are at highest risk is a crucial step for us to be able to get people on a healthier trajectory with a lower risk of frailty and subsequently a lower risk of disease, disability and death. 

Expertise

#frailty

#cognition

#mildcognitiveimpairment

#longitudinalresearch
 

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Professor Alan Gow

Alan is a Professor of Psychology at Heriot-Watt University, where he leads the Ageing Lab and is Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Behavioural Sciences. His research focuses on the identification of lifestyle and behavioural factors that predict healthy ageing, primarily cognitive ageing. That is, the factors that might protect or harm the ageing brain. Alan is mainly interested in factors which are modifiable, such as activity participation and exercise, social networks and support, and occupational characteristics and exposures. By being amenable to change, such factors are potential targets for interventions designed to reduce or delay the effect of ageing on cognitive abilities. He is currently developing new community-based interventions within The Ageing Lab where volunteers are supported in taking up new activities to assess the potential benefits of novel engagement and social connection for health and wellbeing.

 

Alan has almost 20 years’ experience researching ageing, including the design and delivery of longitudinal studies and interventions. He has strong working links with the third sector including Age Scotland and Age UK, being the national charities for older people, as well as international research collaborations across Europe and the US. Ensuring research has impact is a key priority for Alan, and he has been an invited contributor to the Global Council on Brain Health, an international collaboration from AARP/Age UK developing expert reports on the lifestyle factors associated with brain health, and the SAPEA report “Transforming the Future of Ageing” which reported to the European Commission in 2019.

Alongside his research, Alan is involved in a number of public engagement and outreach activities to share what we think might benefit brain health as we age, ranging from talks with older people’s groups, performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and contributions to radio/TV. Those activities have been recognised with the British Psychological Society Public Engagement and Media Award in 2016, and as one of two runners-up in the 2019 Nature Research Awards for Driving Global Impact.
 

Expertise

#healthyageing

#cognition

#lifestyle

#riskfactors

#longitudinalresearch
 

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Dr Tim Wilkinson

Tim is a neurologist and clinical lecturer in Edinburgh. He completed his PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh in 2020. Tim's research focuses on the use of routinely-collected healthcare datasets (such as primary care and hospital admissions data) to better understand ways in which we can prevent dementia.

 

He co-created the SAIL Dementia e-Cohort (SAIL-DeC). SAIL-DeC is a 'virtual' cohort created from Welsh routine data to facilitate epidemiological dementia research.

Expertise

#routinedata 
#clinicaltrials 
#epidemiology

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Sarah Gregory

Sarah is a part-time PhD student studying the associations between the risk for Alzheimer's disease and HPA axis (stress response) dysfunction in mid and later life.

Sarah has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Mental Health Science Research.

Sarah also works as a study coordinator with over 10 years of experience managing complex interventional and observational studies in mental health, dementia, mild cognitive impairment and healthy ageing.

Expertise

#cohorts 
#stress

#clinicaltrials 
 

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Expertise

#statistics 
#epidemiology

#healthyageing
 

Dr Graciela Muniz Terrera

Graciela is a Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Centre for Dementia Prevention where she works in collaboration with colleagues in the EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer's Dementia) and the IALSA (Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies of Ageing) network of longitudinal studies of ageing and dementia.

Before working in Edinburgh, Graciela was a Lecturer at UCL and Programme Leader Track at the MRC Lifelong Health and Ageing Unit and also worked for several years in Cambridge at the MRC Biostatistics Unit, where she also did her PhD. Her research has been supported by an MRC Career Development Award in Biostatistics, the Alzheimer's Society and the IALSA Programme Grant from the US National Institute of Health.

She has extensive experience developing and applying  longitudinal methods to gain a better understanding of ageing and dementia. She is also interested in harmonisation methods for evidence synthesis and reproducible research.

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Expertise

#brainhealth #neuroimaging #alzheimersdisease 

Dr Jennifer Waymont

Jenny is a Research Officer with Brain Health Scotland, and an honorary Research Fellow with the Aberdeen Biomedical Imaging Centre at the University of Aberdeen.

Jenny completed a BSc in Clinical and Health Psychology, an MSc in Psychological Research, and an MSc in Neuroimaging at Bangor University, Wales, before undertaking her PhD in Medical Imaging at the University of Aberdeen under the supervision of Dr. Gordon Waiter, Dr. Chris McNeil, and Prof. Alison Murray. Jenny's PhD explored brain imaging markers of neurodegenerative disease, focusing on predictors of brain white matter hyperintensity  volume in normal ageing in the Aberdeen Children of the Nineteen Fifties Cohort (ACONF). During her PhD, Jenny also worked with TauRx Pharmaceuticals, examining WMH volume in clinical trial participants living with Alzheimer's Disease and behavioural variant Frontotemporal Dementia.

Since completing her PhD, Jenny has been working with Brain Health Scotland, predominantly on a project exploring current care pathways in Scotland for the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Jenny also works alongside Prof. Craig Ritchie on the implementation of Brain Health Services.

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#economics

#longitudinalresearch

#socialcare 

Prof David Bell

David is an economist with an interest in worldwide network of longitudinal studies of ageing including associated cognitive testing and all aspects of social care. 

He was awarded a PhD at the University of Strathclyde in 1984 and has worked at the Universities of St Andrews, Strathclyde, Warwick and Glasgow. He has been Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling since 1990 specialising in labour economics and fiscal federalism. He was adviser to the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament from 2007 to 2013 and has provided advice to the ILO, OECD, the Scottish, Westminster and Irish Governments. In 2015, he was specialist adviser to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee for its investigation into the Financing of Devolution. He has appeared numerous times in the Scottish Parliament as a witness to the Economy Committee, the Health and Sport Committee, the Welfare Committee, the Devolution Committee, and the Finance Committee. He has also appeared several times as a witness at the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the IZA, Bonn and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

 

He is a member of the Centre on Constitutional Change and the Centre for Population Change and a special adviser to the David Hume Institute. He is also Principal Investigator of the Healthy AGeing In Scotland (HAGIS) survey, a longitudinal survey of older people in Scotland, which is funded by the US National Institute of Aging and the Nuffield Foundation. David has extensive media experience in Scotland and the UK as a whole.

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Expertise

#education

#concussion

#sport

#physicalactivity

#psychology

Dr Stephanie Adams

Stephanie Adams is an Honorary researcher at the University of Edinburgh, and Honorary Associate with the University of Calgary (Canada). She is the Founder of ConcussEd, which focuses on making evidence-based sports concussion information more accessible and memorable for all stakeholders.

 

Stephanie has strong track record in developing and delivering effective concussion education and physical activity programming for a variety of ages, groups and institutions. Stephanie helped lead the evaluation of the global Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on concussion - a partnership between University of Calgary & University Laval. She is a member of the Scottish Government Concussion Advisory Group and the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP), and a retired rugby and equestrian athlete.

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Stina Saunders

Stina is an early career researcher with an interest in pre-dementia stages. Stina's PhD is a longitudinal cohort study looking at the short-term and longer term impact of communicating about mild cognitive impairment.

 

Stina's educational background is in Clinical Psychology (MRes; MSc and BA) and in parallel to her PhD studies, Stina works in Alzheimer's disease clinical trials at the University of Edinburgh and leads the ePSOM project, developing an outcome measure for capturing meaningful changes in Alzheimer's disease clinical trials.

Expertise

#mildcognitiveimpairment
#riskcommunication
#clinicaltrials
#outcomemeasures

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Expertise

#drugrepurposing
#drugdiscovery
#causalinference
#drugsafety

Dr Danielle Newby

Danielle is an early career dementia researcher with an interdisciplinary background in epidemiology, machine learning, and pharmacology. Since April 2016, she has been working as a post-doctorate researcher in the informatics team of the Translational Neuroscience and Dementia Research Group at the University of Oxford. Danielle is currently the lead of the Prevention working group for the DEMON network, which is a network applying data science and artificial intelligence to dementia research.

Her main research interests are: drug repurposing for dementia prevention; understanding and characterizing risk factors for dementia; inference and machine learning for dementia.

 

Danielle’s main areas of research within the team involve the analysis of real-world data such as medical electronic health records using traditional statistical approaches and machine learning. Using a wide variety of existing datasets and methods to triangulate evidence to understand more about what causes dementia and what we can do to intervene. By understanding these relationships this will provide an evidence base to support public health intervention for dementia prevention. 

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Dr Tom Russ

Tom is a consultant psychiatrist in NHS Lothian, Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre (ASDRC), University of Edinburgh, and an honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

 

He spends half his time on clinical work in two specialist dementia units and in the memory clinic in Edinburgh and the other half of his time on research. His research began by examining geographical variation in dementia risk in Scotland and Sweden and now focuses particularly on environmental risk factors for dementia, such as air pollution.

 

The overall research focus of the ASDRC is wide and balanced, ranging from optimising computational models to the lived experience of dementia, including what it feels like to feel free with dementia.

Expertise

#epidemiology 
#lifecourse
#riskfactors
#airpollution

#geographicalvariation

DIAGNOSIS

Research to discover or improve methods to allow neurodegenerative diseases to be detected earlier and more accurately.

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FUNDAMENTAL SCIENCE

The foundation for the development of 

effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

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LIVING WITH DEMENTIA

Improving our understanding of all aspects of dementia care and caring

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INFORMATICS

Coordinated approach to integrate neurodegenerative diseases data from all real world clinical and research sources  across Scotland

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