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Brain Health: Online Webinar Series

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Throughout March – May 2021, Dementia Research Network Ireland will be hosting free weekly webinars for the public on Brain Health

About this event

This webinar series is aimed at a public audience and will explore some of the following topics:

  • How does brain health affect our cognition and how do we measure it?
  • How does food affect our brain health?
  • Can physical training exercise our brains?
  • What are healthy habits for a healthy mind?
  • What can neuroimaging tell us about brain health?
  • What is Cognitive Rehabilitation and Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, and are they effective for people living with dementia?

Each session will include a 20 min Q&A with the audience.

The webinars will be recorded and will be available on the DRNI youtube channel 1-2 days after each webinar: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnW194Z7B-ngSlnDdkEOsoA

Presentations from the webinars will be available on our website under 'Resources' tab: http://dementianetwork.ie/brain-health-presentations

Schedule

Session 1 - (Mon 15th Mar 11am - midday): Brain Health Management & The Development of Personal Prevention Plans Presented by: Prof. Sean Kennelly, Dr. Tim Dukelow, & Joshi Dookhy, Tallaght University Hospital Memory Assessment & Support Service.

In this webinar, staff at Tallaght Hospital’s Memory Assessment & Support Service will provide an introduction to dementia and the concept of brain health. They will discuss the life-course risk of developing dementia and how exercise, diet and other interventions can support successful brain ageing. They will also discuss the approach to brain health taken in the Brain Health Clinic in Tallaght University Hospital. There will be an opportunity for Q&A after the talks.

Session 2 - (Mon 22nd March 11-11.45am): Nutrition and the ageing brain: can the right diet help prevent dementia? Presented by: Dr. Catherine Hughes, Ulster University

Can the right diet really help prevent dementia? Join this webinar with Dr Catherine Hughes from Ulster University to discover how nutrition can help protect the brain and prevent against dementia. Dr Hughes will discuss the latest scientific research indicating that the Mediterranean and MIND diet reduce the risk of developing dementia in older people. She will also discuss how specific components within food such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols, vitamin D and B-vitamins can also protect the brain and prevent dementia. Dr Hughes will also provide some practical tips that you can adopt to help maintain a healthy brain and reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Session 3 - (Mon 29th March 11-11.45am): Step Up to Your Health: What a group of retirees taught me about brain health. Presented by: Dr. Annalisa Setti, School of Applied Psychology, UCC

What can we learn about healthy ageing from community-led research? Dr Annalisa Setti will talk about the Step Up to Your Health project that she has designed with a community group called The Young at Heart. While describing this project she will talk about the importance of novelty and challenging the brain in older age, the role of nature in relieving stress and improving our attention, and of how coaching can help us set goals to improve our brain health and benefit the most from nature.

Feargus Fawsitt, who is pursuing a doctorate in Psychology with Annalisa’s supervision, will talk about the importance of fostering positive perceptions of ageing and the impact of negative perceptions on our cognition and daily life.

Session 4 - (Mon 12th April 11-11.45am): Cognitive Rehabilitation & Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for Dementia. Presented by: Dr. Michelle Kelly, Psychology Department, National College of Ireland, Dublin

This webinar will outline the key features of both Cognitive Rehabilitation (CR) and Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), and will include a discussion of how each can be implemented in applied settings. Existing research evidence will also be evaluated, with a view to demonstrating why CR and CST are considered evidence-based interventions. The webinar will be of interest to anyone wishing to learn more about non-pharmacological approaches to improving cognitive outcomes for individuals with mild to moderate dementia.

Session 5 - (Wed 5th May 11-11.45am): What can neuroimaging tell us about brain health? Presented by: Prof. Robert Whelan, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience & Global Brain Health Institute

The advent of brain imaging (‘neuroimaging’) technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging, allow us to easily look inside a person’s head. Neuroimaging allows us to see the brain’s structure in great detail and to measure how the brain functions when given a task. In this webinar, Robert will showcase the latest research on measuring brain health using neuroimaging and he will talk about the potential of neuroimaging for diagnosing and predicting dementia onset. Robert will also discuss what neuroimaging cannot tell us, and what it means to have a ‘young’ brain.

Session 6 - (Mon 10th May 11-11.45am): Rejuvenate your brain: Learn how simple lifestyle changes can boost your brain health and reduce your risk of developing dementia Presented by: Dr. Sabina Brennan, Chartered Health Psychologist & neuroscientist

Many people may feel that memory loss and dementia are inevitable parts of ageing. Dr Sabina Brennan, author of 100 Days to a Younger Brain, explains that this is not necessarily the case. Sabina will explain, in clear every day language, that scientific evidence shows that our lifestyle can have a major impact on how our brain functions and reacts to the ageing process. In her lively and entertaining talk she will give tips and practical advice on things that we can do now to protect our brain and memory in the longer term. The evidence to date suggests that it's never too late or too early to start looking after your brain health. Think of it like a pension fund. Healthy brain habits now build the brain’s reserves. It’s a lodgement, like money in the bank for later in life.

Session 7 - (Mon 17th May 11-11.45am): Physical training can exercise your brain Presented by: Dr. Ruth McCullagh, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, University College Cork

We all know that exercise is beneficial, but sometimes the type and how much exercise is not so clear. In this talk we will discuss how all types of physical exercise can help, and which type seems to keep the brain healthy, and which seem to train the brain. We all feel great after physical activity, but it can be hard to stay motivated, so we will go through some tips to keep you motivated to exercise and keep active.

Session 8 - (Mon 24th May 11am-12.15pm): Ask The Experts Webinar 1

This webinar will provide the audience an opportunity to ask panel members questions relating to brain health. We will draw strands of the webinar series together and signpost to services where appropriate.

Panellists: Prof. Sean Kennelly (Consultant Geriatrician & Director of the Memory Assessment & Support Service, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin); Prof. Robert Whelan (Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience & Global Brain Health Institute, Dublin); and Dr. Michelle Kelly (Psychology Department, National College of Ireland, Dublin)

Session 9 - (Mon 31st May 11am-12.15pm): Ask The Experts Webinar 2

This webinar will provide the audience an opportunity to ask panel members questions relating to brain health. We will draw strands of the webinar series together and signpost to services where appropriate.

Panellists: Dr. Annalisa Setti (School of Applied Psychology, UCC); Dr. Sabina Brennan (chartered health psychologist, neuroscientist and author of the No 1 best-seller 100 Days to a Younger Brain); Dr. Ruth McCullagh (Lecturer in Physiotherapy, UCC); Feargus Fawsitt (School of Applied Psychology, UCC).

About Dementia Research Network Ireland

Dementia Research Network Ireland (DRNI) is an innovative, all-Ireland research initiative which supports and facilitates collaborative interdisciplinary research integrating the basic, clinical and social sciences. DRNI seeks to improve outcomes for people with dementia/ neurodegenerative disease through improving our understanding of the causes and mechanisms of neurodegeneration, the effectiveness of different models of care, and the policy changes required to improve individuals’ quality of life.

The network comprises over 100 members. Membership includes leading academics, clinicians, health & social care practitioners, government representatives, community & voluntary sector members, people living with dementia and Parkinson’s disease, and carers. DRNI is funded by the Health Research Board.

For more information, visit our website: www.dementianetwork.ie

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland have published a Brain Health leaflet - see here: https://alzheimer.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/ASI-BrainHealth-Brochure-website-1.pdf

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