Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry Trainees Conference 2023 Resources Page

Welcome to the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry Trainees Conference 2023

Conference programme 

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    Update on Neuroimaging in Dementia - Dr Leo Chouliaras 

    Dementia is a leading cause of disability and death worldwide. At present there is no disease modifying treatment for any of the most common types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Vascular dementia, Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) and Frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Early and accurate diagnosis of dementia subtype is critical to improving clinical care and developing better treatments. Structural and molecular imaging has contributed to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative dementias and is increasingly being adopted into clinical practice for early and accurate diagnosis.
    This presentation will summarise the contribution imaging has made with particular focus on multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography imaging (PET). Structural MRI is widely used in clinical practice and can help exclude reversible causes of memory problems but has relatively low sensitivity for the early and differential diagnosis of dementia subtypes. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET has high sensitivity and specificity for AD and FTD, while PET with ligands for amyloid and tau can improve the differential diagnosis of AD and non-AD dementias, including recognition at prodromal stages. Dopaminergic imaging can assist with the diagnosis of LBD. The lack of a validated tracer for α-synuclein or TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) imaging remain notable gaps, though work is ongoing. Emerging PET tracers such as 11C-UCB-J for synaptic imaging may be sensitive early markers but overall larger longitudinal multi-centre cross diagnostic imaging studies are needed.


    Prevention of dementia- what is the evidence that it can be done -  Professor Gill Livingston

    There has been a hugely welcome reduction in risk for dementia in some High-Income Countries. However this has been restricted to those of higher income and more educated people. The 2020 Lancet commission found a theoretical potential reduction worldwide of 40%. I will discuss the risks and the evidence that increasing or reversing these risks makes a difference to dementia prevalence. I will briefly mention differences between people of different ethnicities and incomes and discuss policy and individual interventions and how they relate to underserved groups.

    Should we be preparing for new treatments for Alzheimer's disease? - Professor Rob Howard

    Now that the FDA have licensed aducanumab, lecanemab and donanemab for the treatment of MCI and mild dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease, should we be preparing to provide these to patients in the NHS? Clearly, we'll have to wait for advice from the MHRA and NICE. In the meantime, I would argue that extremely tiny treatment effects, weighed against the clear risks and costs of treatment, would mean that it is difficult to see these drugs as likely to be clinically or cost-effective in the NHS.

    Literature review of existing evidence on relationship between retirement and dementia - Dr Madhooree Rowjee

    After watching the Netflix series ‘Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones,’ it was striking to know that in areas of increased longevity, the rates of dementia were astonishingly low. A common theme seen in these areas was that older persons never ‘retire’ and continue to have a purpose in life.
    Methods: Critical review of available research papers.
    Conclusions: Based on evidence available, perhaps, encouraging older people to continue their jobs part-time or creating new jobs to give a sense of purpose in elderly population might reduce the incidence of dementia in the UK.

    Alcohol Use Disorders in Older Adults - Dr Julia Lewis

    This presentation will cover statistical information about current rates of alcohol use disorder and alcohol related morbidity in older adults. It will look at the challenges in recognition, diagnosis and early interventions as well as providing practical advice on how to engage older adults in treatment. It will also touch upon the issues of alcohol related cognitive impairment and ARBD.

    Older Adult Forensic Psychiatry - Dr Marco Picchioni

    Forensic Psychiatric services in the UK, as in many countries, focus heavily on working age male patients, often with schizophrenia. As the population ages so there is an increasing need for forensic services to adapt to the differences in mental disorder, risk management and wider care needs that are seen in older patients. In this presentation I will outline an older adult forensic service, illustrate current assessment and treatment models and think about some of the challenges that we face.


    Mohan Bhat is Consultant old age psychiatrist for 21 years and Deputy chief medical officer at KMPT and the clinical lead for Kent and medway ICB for the community mental health tranformation of older adult services. Currently the Finance officer to the RCPsych faculty of old age psychiatry and has been the immediate past academic secretary to the faculty. Also the member of the Accreditation committee of MSNAP.

    Dr Leo Chouliaras is an Assistant Professor and Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and at Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He is also a Clinical Hub Advisor at the Early Detection of Neurodegenerative Diseases (EDON) initiative. His undergraduate training was at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and subsequently completed his PhD at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. He trained in psychiatry at Oxford and Cambridge before moving to his current post in 2023. He splits his time between clinical work in a dementia and old age psychiatry service and research on the role of biomarkers in neurodegeneration and particularly in Lewy Body Dementia

    Dr James Hotham is an ST4 Old Age Psychiatry trainee in the West Midlands Deanery, currently out of programme for research.

    Professor Robert Howard Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at UCL and Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in the North London Mental Health Partnership. 

    Julia Lewis is a consultant addiction psychiatrist with the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and a visiting professor at the University of South Wales. She is a member of the Welsh Government's National Partnership Board for Substance Use and a member of the executive committee of the addictions faculty of the RCPsych. She was one of the authors of the Welsh Government National Treatment Framework for ARBD and the chair of the subgroup writing the chapter on ARBD for the soon to be published UK national guidelines on the management of alcohol use disorders. She is one of the directors of the national ARBD Network and a published playwright and actor in her spare time.

    Dr Gill Livingston is a clinical academic, working in a memory clinic. My academic work considers mechanisms through epidemiological and biopsychosocial enquiry, using them to co-design and test interventions. I lead the Lancet Standing Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, 2017 and 2020 and currently am leading the 2024 commission. We have produced new research and meta-analyses of life-course risk and an overview of current knowledge on interventions. These have resulted in changes in UK and US and other countries. I also work on RCTs of interventions for people with dementia and their families.

    Dr Marco Picchioni - I am a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at St Magnus Hospital where I am also the Clinical Director. I am a Member of the Royal College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I hold a PhD in Neuroscience from King’s College, London where I am an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry.

    Dr Madhooree Rowjee - I am currently in the third year of Core Psychiatry Training. I am working with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, in Ipswich. I am passionate about research and its impact on people's life.

    Dr Ellen Williams - ST4 Older Adult Psychiatry, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust.

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry is grateful to the NIHR, in supporting early career researchers.

    Please view the poster gallery - this will be available for the next 2 months.  

    This conference is eligible for up to six CPD hours, subject to peer group approval.

    Certificates of attendance will be emailed to all delegates within a week of the conference taking place.


    The Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry is hosting a series of free webinars on ‘Getting ready for disease-modifying treatments’ and you can find out more and sign up for sessions here

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