Asking the Big Questions in Dublin’s Fair City – Part 2

Mary Ni Lochlainn is an Academic Clinical Fellow in Geriatric Medicine. She works at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

In the world of Alzheimer’s research we heard from Professor Michael Rowan, who focused on amyloid and ageing. Sleep and mood disorders can pre-date dementia diagnoses, and we see circadian rhythm disturbances in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Is there a window of opportunity here for preventative interventions? Alzheimer’s is a disease of abnormal protein aggregation – both amyloid and tau. Protein clearance tends to happen at night. Can we draw connections here? Prof Rowan explained that a recent New England Journal of Medicine paper showed 30% of patients didn’t have any amyloid even though they had been diagnosed with AD and enrolled in a trial. So what does this mean? Do these patients have another dementia? It cannot be denied that a blood or cerebrospinal fluid test would be very helpful in this diagnostic process. Continue reading

Asking the Big Questions in Dublin’s Fair City – Part 1

Mary Ni Lochlainn is an Academic Clinical Fellow in Geriatric Medicine. She works at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

This February marked the first, hopefully of many, Biogerontology for Clinicians International Conference, held at the state-of-the-art Mercer Institute of Successful Ageing (MISA) at St. James’ Hospital, Dublin. Hosted by the inimitable Professor Rose Anne Kenny, of Trinity College Dublin, and staff of The Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA), the programme boasted twelve expert speakers across a day and a half, with the aim of putting recent advances in biology in context with the pathology of ageing. The idea was to bring together leaders in ageing from various backgrounds, to ‘generate meaningful collaborative, translational approaches with significant potential strategic value to service users.’ And it certainly achieved those aims. Continue reading

Chinese Geriatric Medicine

Prof Kenneth Rockwood is Director of Geriatric Medicine Research at Dalhousie University, Canada, adjunct Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester and serves on the International Advisory Panel of Age and Ageing journal. shutterstock_171428474

The Chinese Geriatrics Society met on May 24 2014, brought together for the 7th National Conference on Prevention and Control of Common Diseases in Elderly People. As a speaker and honorary conference co-chair, I’ve been able to see some of the workings up close.  Geriatrics transcends many aspects of culture, so that much would be familiar to any BGS meeting attendee – and not just the apparently universal audiovisual glitches (I did not go unspared). Continue reading

EUGMS Meetings in Budapest

A report from the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) meetings in Budapest:

A seminar on geriatric long-term care was hosted for the participation of representatives of EUGMS and other Hungarian participants. Also invited were members of the ELTECA working group; Profs. Katarzyna Wiecorzowska-Tobis from Poznan, Poland, Debbie Tolson from Glasgow, UK, Cecilia Rokusek of Fort Lauderdale Florida, USA, and Iva Holmerová from Prague, CZ, who happily met again to continue their discussions on long-term geriatric care and the opportunities for cooperation. Continue reading

Get Involved: BGS Meetings Secretary

The BGS is recruiting for a new Deputy Meetings Secretary who will in turn succeed as Meetings Secretary.  Here the current Meetings Secretary, Dr Nigel Stout, who tweets as @Tlocdoc, explains what attracted him to the voluntary role.shutterstock_55310137

I had been a consultant for about 7 years and was beginning to feel comfortable in my role.  Part of my consultant life had been spent working in Sydney and I had recently returned to the UK.  I was therefore looking for a new challenge and saw the advert for Deputy Meetings Secretary on the BGS website.  This was not a job that I had previously considered but the challenge caught my attention.  I was already involved with the Cardiovascular Section of the Society and so had some experience of organising a conference although on a smaller scale.  With the permission (and encouragement) of my colleagues I sent in a brief CV and waited. Continue reading

Bones and a reflection on training opportunities

I have to admit, bones do play a key role in my life, not only do they allow me to get about, safely protecting my internal organs, balancing my calcium and providing me with a ready supply of haemopoetic cells, but bones also provide the ‘back-bone’ to my working life both as an orthogeriatrician and as an epidemiologist.

I remember when I was starting out as a SpR in geriatrics; I had that feeling of wanting to ‘do some research’, but was in that all too common position of wondering ‘where do I start’? That year a course was advertised in the BGS newsletter ‘Osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases’. I was just beginning to develop an interest in orthogeriatric medicine and this residential course, run at one of the Oxford colleges and specifically aimed at trainees, offered a comprehensive overview of osteoporosis biology, treatments, monitoring, and radiology, as well as topics such as renal osteodystrophy, primary hyperparathyroidism and Paget’s disease. It proved a really educationally valuable few days and the course manual provided an excellent reference resource for a number of years.

Continue reading