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Brian Lawlor, pro­fes­sor of old age psy­chi­a­try at Trin­ity Col­lege Dublin, con­sul­tant psy­chi­a­trist, St James’s Hospi­tal, and chair of De­men­tia: Un­der­stand To­gether cam­paign


Break­fast, fol­lowed by a 45-minute cy­cle to work. Hav­ing a bike rids me of park­ing woes and it’s good, free ex­er­cise. I work across two sites — St James’s Hospi­tal and TCD.


On Mon­days, I head to St James’s. First up is a meet­ing to dis­cuss DEMPATH, a project to de­velop an in­te­grated care path­way for peo­ple with de­men­tia. The fo­cus is on im­prov­ing their hospi­tal ex­pe­ri­ence and link­ing the per­son back to the com­mu­nity. At St James’s we’ve made some sim­ple changes to the en­vi­ron­ment, in­clud­ing creat­ing two de­men­tia-friendly bays in the ED de­signed to limit con­fu­sion. We’ve also in­tro­duced a num­ber of train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tives for staff.


Re­search is an in­te­gral part of my job and we have just com­pleted a phase 3 of an in­ter­na­tional clin­i­cal trial of nil­vadip­ine in Alzheimer’s dis­ease (AD). Nil­vadip­ine is a blood pres­sure treat­ment and we are look­ing to see if it slows the progress of AD. I have a meet­ing with the project man­ager to dis­cuss as­pects of the trial.


I head to the mem­ory clinic in St James’s where I see one new pa­tient and a num­ber of re­turn pa­tients. We’re a na­tional re­fer­ral cen­tre and some of the peo­ple who come for as­sess­ment are quite young — one in 10 peo­ple un­der the age of 65 has de­men­tia. We in­ves­ti­gate for neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease. Some­times their com­plaint is linked to de­pres­sion/ anx­i­ety/stress.


I cy­cle to TCD to the Global Brain Health In­sti­tute (GBHI), ded­i­cated to re­duc­ing the scale and im­pact of de­men­tia world­wide. It’s a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween TCD and the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Fran­cisco. I’m a co-direc­tor of GBHI.


I cy­cle to St Steeven’s to HSE HQ to dis­cuss the De­men­tia: Un­der­stand To­gether cam­paign. The ad cam­paign got un­der way last month and in­volves TV, ra­dio and on­line ads fea­tur­ing real-life sto­ries of peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia. It’s de­signed to re­duce the stigma and iso­la­tion as­so­ci­ated with de­men­tia and raise aware­ness about de­men­tia in Ire­land.


I cy­cle home. I might try to get a game of ten­nis in the evening, al­though it can be hard fit it in dur­ing the win­ter months.

“One in 10 peo­ple un­der the age of 65 has de­men­tia”

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