Dementia is a leading cause of disability in Australians above the age of 65 and the third leading cause of death in this country, costing the health and aged care sectors around AU$4.9 billion per year. Dementia management is considerably complicated by the presence of neuropsychiatric symptoms, often referred to as behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Neuropsychiatric symptoms are a heterogeneous group of non-cognitive symptoms which are ubiquitous in individuals with dementia. They affect over 90% of people during the course of their illness and have a deleterious effects on primary carers, are linked to faster rates of decline and earlier institutionalisation. This presentation will present recent research developments in this field.
Bio: Dr Moyra Mortby is an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing (CRAHW), The Australian National University. She was awarded her PhD with Laudatio Magna Cum Laude from the University of Zurich, Switzerland for her research on apathy and depression in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, and completed her MSc in Research Methods in Psychology and BSc in Criminology and Psychology both at Keele University, UK.
Dr Mortby joined CRAHW in 2011 as a post-doctoral research fellow to work on a Dementia Collaborative Research Centre – Early Diagnosis and Prevention project and has since held an Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Fellowship. She has driven the development of a research program on neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia at CRAHW, leading a number of research projects investigating neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia and pre-clinical stages of dementia, both in community-based and residential care settings. Her research interests cover behavioural, social and care aspects of dementia. Dr Mortby is the recipient of the 2015 New Investigator Award by the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART) and the Neuropsychiatric Syndromes in Neurodegenerative Diseases Professional Interest Area.