Dementia

Alzheimer's Autralia Summit

In May 2015, Alzheimer’s Australia held a two day Summit in Melbourne, the first of its kind, offering an environment for all of the Young Onset Dementia Key Workers from around Australia to network, and provided an opportunity for members of the Neuropsychiatry Team to meet interstate workers with whom they have been consulting via teleconference. In addition to strengthening the collaboration by having face-to face contact, the Neuropsychiatry clinicians were invited to present to the Key Workers. Dr Kelso launched the release of the updated Quality Dementia Care Series Five booklet: Younger Onset Dementia: A Practical Guide. This guide is a resource for families and consumers, which she was involved in developing in Sydney in 2008, and has now taken the lead role in editing in 2015.  (See link below). JoAnne Bevilacqua presented a summary of the Clinical Consultation outcomes to date. Both presentations were well received, and a “wish list” of outcomes identified has been endorsed by Alzheimer’s Australia. These include flying Neuropsychiatry outpatient clinicians interstate quarterly to provide face-to-face clinical consultations in light of the significant shortage of specialised services in the state. The first visit will be to Tasmania in October 2015.
https://fightdementia.org.au/sites/default/files/20090200_Nat_QDC_QDC5YODPracGuide.pdf

4th Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology Conference

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The RANZCP Section of Neuropsychiatry and the ANZAN Section of Behavioural Neurology, supported by the University of Melbourne, and in collaboration with theAustralian Consortium of Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (AC4R) are pleased to announce the 2015 annual Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology Conference.

The programme is below, and registration can be done through the
conference website.

Friday 6 November 2015 09.00 - 19:00
Registration open
Welcome
Theme Session: Schizophrenia Dr Ramon Mocellin  — TBC Professor Christos Pantelis  — The present: Schizophrenia: State of the Art. Neuroprogression and the role of stress,  drugs and neuroinflammation
Morning Tea
Keynote Session Schizophrenia: The Future Professor John McGrath: Expectations for the future of schizophrenia research - from the prosaic to the grandiose
Lunch
Theme Session: Nucleotide repeats and Lewy bodies Dr Samantha Loi – Huntingtons disease - the past Professor Elsdon Storey – Molecular biology of repeat disorders Dr Rosie Watson - Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Afternoon Tea 
Theme session: Epilepsy
Professor Harry McConnell – The past:
Epilepsy through the Ages, a neuropsychiatric perspective Professor Terry O’Brien – The present: Treatment for Epilepsy: The Current State of Play Professor Mark Cook – The future: Title TBC
Trainee Session Trainee case presentations and judging
Conference Dinner Guest Speaker Associate Professor Steve Ellen
  Saturday 7 November 2015  08:45 – 12:00

Registration open
Neuroimaging workshop
Neuroimaging Teaching Session Dr Frank Gaillard -
Understanding MRI
Morning Tea

Neurocogitive case workshop: Associate Professor David Darby
 
Conference Close

Neuropsychiatry of Movement Disorders

The unit’s 2013 Neuroimaging Fellow, Dr Brad Hayhow, has published an illustrated summary of how typical movement disorders associated with chorea, dystonia and ataxia are associated with neuropsychiatric illness. This review paper has been published in the new Columbia University movement disorders journal, Tremor.
The paper can be viewed in full here, and contains high-quality illustrations about frontal-subcortical circuits whose disruption can lead to psychiatric illness. One of the images can be found below.

NEUROPSYCHIATRY OF MOVEMENT DISORDERS
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Prototypical frontostriatal circuit.

2nd Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology Conference

SAVE THE DATE!! 2nd Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology Conference

On November 8th and 9th 2013, the 2nd Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology Conference will be held in Melbourne, following on from the success of the inaugural conference in 2012.

A joint initiative between the Section of Neuropsychiatry from the RANZCP and the ANZAN Section of Behavioural Neurology, the conference will present a broad selection of topics relevant to psychiatrists and neurologists alike.

Watch this space for first formal conference announcements!

Basal Ganglia Morphology Distinguishes Dementia Subtypes

Putaminal Morphology Reveals Frontostriatal “Axis” in FTD

With collaborators from the Australian National University and the University of California (Los Angeles), we have shown that, like the hippocampus, the putamen in the striatum can be used as a possible biomarker for dementia subtype. In comparing a well-characterised group of patients with frontotemporal dementia, Huntington’s disease Alzheimer’s disease and matched healthy controls, and using sophisticated shape analysis methodology from Paul Thompson’s group at UCLA, we showed that there are distinct atrophy “signatures” that occur in the putamen, a key grey matter structure in the basal ganglia. These signatures may be useful in aiding diagnosis, and for better understanding of some of the cognitive and behavioural disturbances that occur in these degenerative disorders.

The research also shows that, compared to a more typical basal ganglia disorder and a cortical disorder, frontotemporal dementia shares characteristics of both, adding to our previous work proposing a frontostriatal axis for many of the features of this illness.

The paper can be found
here.

Looi et al. Differential putaminal morphology in Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Aust NZ J Psychiatry 46: 1145-1158, 2012.

Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology Conference

Neuropsychiatry and Behavioural Neurology Conference

The RANZCP Section of Neuropsychiatry and the ANZAN section of Behavioural Neurology, supported by  the University of Melbourne, are pleased to announce a one day congress on October 19th and half day training workshop on October 20th, 2012.The congress venue will be at the Melbourne Brain Centre, Kenneth Myer Building, Parkville.

A major aim of this 2 day event is to highlight clinically relevant scientific advances across a range of disorders and we have attracted outstanding international and national speakers. Themes will include young onset dementia, rapidly progressive dementia, movement disorders and deep brain stimulation, and workshops will cover bedside cognitive testing and neuroimaging.

Our keynote speakers will be Professor Inga Zerr, from Gottingen in Germany, presenting on CJD; Professor John Hodges, from UNSW in Sydney, presenting on frontotemporal dementia; and Professor Christopher Rowe, from the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, presenting on functional imaging in the dementias.

For more information go to the
Conference website.

Subcortial Morphology as a Dementia Biomarker

SUBCORTICAL MORPHOLOGY AS A DEMENTIA BIOMARKER

In collaboration with A/Prof Jeff Looi from the Australian National University, we have conducted a group of studies in various neurodegenerative disorders, and have shown that differing types of illness have relatively unique “shape signatures” that characterise their underlying pathology. These signatures may prove to be unique biomarkers for illness stage, progression over time and response to future illness-modifying therapies.

The two publications characterising these morphological changes in dementia can be found
here and here.

Looi et al. Striatal morphology as a biomarker in neurodegenerative disease.
Mol Psychiatry 2012 May 15. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.54.

Looi et al.
Frontotemporal dementia as a frontostriatal disorder: neostriatal morphology as a biomarker and structural basis for an endophenotype. Aust NZ J Psychiatry 46: 422-434, 2012.

Brain Shape Analysis May Differentiate Alzheimer's from FTD

BRAIN SHAPE ANALYSIS DIFFERENTIATES ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE FROM FRONTOTEMPORAL DEMENTIA

A/Prof Mark Walterfang and Dr Dennis Velakoulis, with colleagues from ANU and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, have shown how analysis of the shape of the hippocampus, one of the key brain regions involved in memory, can differentiate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from another key type of dementia, fronto-temporal dementia (FTD).

Dr Walterfang undertook computerised shape analysis techniques on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to demonstrate that the head of the hippocampus is preferentially affected in FTD, whereas it is relatively spared in AD, which tends to affect the rest of the hippocampal structure.

The paper can be found
here.

Lindberg et al. Hippocampal shape analysis in Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia subtypes. J Alzheimers Dis 30: 355-365, 2012.

AAV Professional Development Seminar

Dr Wendy Kelso will be presenting at an Alzheimer’s Australia (Victoria) professional development seminar on 23rd of November 2011, on Cognitive Assessment in Dementia. These seminars train staff from AAV in various aspects of dementia care, to facilitate their delivery of service to dementia patients and their families in the community.