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”