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Let's Talk About Health: Delirium and Dementia in old age: do our stress ho...
Wed 16 March 2016, 17:30 – 18:30 GMT
Let's Talk About Health: Understanding Disease is all about advancing our knowledge of health and what goes wrong in disease. Join us to hear about new research in our University that is increasing our understanding of diseases and providing new advances in treatment. Guests will be able to talk to our young scientists about their research and will have an opportunity to tour our labs before the talks. We look forward to seeing you there!
Professor Karen Chapman
BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science
During normal ageing, the brain becomes vulnerable to high levels of stress hormones. This can manifest in two common disorders; delirium, an acute brain disorder that normally resolves in a few days or weeks, and dementia, a chronic, mostly incurable brain disorder, caused by brain shrinkage.
Delirium (or ‘acute confusional state’) affects one in five older people in hospital, with up to one in three affected in the Intensive Care Unit. People with delirium have severe changes in their memory and thinking, and often experience highly distressing hallucinations and paranoia. Delirium is often triggered by acute illness or injury such as hip fracture.
The symptoms of dementia (of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form) include memory loss and reduced ability to learn and solve problems. Recent research estimate that people with memory problems that are not severe enough to impact on daily function (termed “mild cognitive impairment”) are up to five times more likely to develop dementia. Evidence increasingly suggests that stress is a key factor in progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.
Join us to learn more about how changes in our stress hormones may impact on age-related memory decline, dementia, and delirium. We will describe how research could lead to new drugs or other therapies to help treat these common and devastating conditions.
Professor Alasdair MacLullich, Geriatric Medicine at the University of Edinburgh; and Dr Joyce Yau, BHF/Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh
Doors open 4.30pm with teas and coffees available.
Refreshments available after event.