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Editor's Note


Tzung-Jeng Hwang, IPA Bulletin Editor-in-Chief

During the past several months, IPA has been actively promoting geriatric mental health around the world. In September, IPA activities included: (1) conducting an online Argentina Geriatric Psychiatry Program, (2) hosting the Sleep Symposium in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA (3) joining the First International Symposium in Geriatric Medicine in the Philippines (Drs. Mary Sano, Maria Lapid, Leon Flicker etc.), and (4) joining the 2018 Nursing Home (NH) and Long Term Care Research meeting (Drs. Debby Gerritsen, Raymond Koopmans). In November, IPA co-hosted a workshop with members of the International Association of Physical Therapists working with Older People (IPTOP) in Montreal, CA. Further, IPA has confirmed that the 2019 Congress will be held from 31 August – 3 September in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The 2020 and 2021 congress locations are still under discussion and will likely be held in Portugal and Kyoto, respectively. In addition, IPA has started a Disaster Medicine Initiative and is planning to initiate a consensus meeting on psychosis in the near future. All these endeavors demonstrate IPA’s determination in creating better mental health for older people.

I am very pleased that we have a new assistant to the editor, Dr. Alfonso J. Alfini (USA), and a new assistant editor, Dr. Jorge Pla (Spain). Dr. Alfonso J. Alfini is a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Jorge Pla is an associate professor of the University of Navarra, Spain. Welcome aboard!

In this issue, there are eleven articles, six in “Research and Practice,” four in “Around the World,” and one in “Technology Corner.

In Research and Practice”:

  • Dr. Clarissa Giebel (UK) reports on an article worth reading, describing the roadmap to advance dementia research and care by 2025 in the United Kingdom. The roadmap was developed by the Alzheimer’s Society through a rigorous process to identify goals and recommendations and to ensure that a variety of opinions were included.
  • Dr. Laura Valzolgher (Italy) has collected and summarized evidence on the relationship between nutrition and dementia.
  • Dr. Theresa Thoma-Lürken et al. (Netherlands) introduces a decision support App for district nurses and case managers combining structured problem assessment and advice to facilitate aging in place for people with dementia. The App could be a valuable tool for decision support.
  • Dr. Mark Rapoport (Canada) addresses the issue: “Do antidepressants protect against major adverse cardiac outcomes?” Two different papers were discussed.
  • Dr. Gillian Stockwell-Smith (Australia) describes prevalent psychiatric comorbidities in patients with dementia and the need for a holistic, integrated approach to address these issues.
  • Finally, Dr. Karen Reimers (USA) updates the important but frequently neglected issue of elder abuse. Geriatric psychiatrists can play an important role in its identification and prevention.

In “Around the World”: 

  • Dr. Alfonso J. Alfini (USA) describes some of the highlights from IPA’s 2018 Sleep and Healthy Aging Symposium held in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA on 14-15 September . He summarizes some valuable new knowledge related to sleep problems in older adults.
  • Drs. Raymond Koopmans (Netherlands, IPA chair of SIF of Young Onset Dementia) and Debby Gerritsen (Netherlands, IPA chair of SIF-BPSD) highlight the 2018 Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Research meeting in Rome, Italy. They sum up the content of three symposia including palliative care on young onset dementia, complex interventions for challenging behaviors in nursing home, and the crisis of challenging behaviors in dementia.
  • Dr. Carlos Spuch (Spain) introduces the Galician Network for Dementia Research (REGIDEM), which may be the first network in Spain dedicated to dementia that combines all sectors, from research groups to family members to the private sector.

Last but not least, in “Technology Corner”, Dr. Yung-Jen Yang (Taiwan) introduces the focus-adjustable smart lens for the senile, which is based on a new technology called liquid crystal. Interesting and worth reading.

It is fascinating to know what is happening around the world. The IPA Bulletin is an ideal platform for people across the globe to exchange ideas and share experiences for the common mission of enhancing mental health for the elderly. I cordially invite more members to contribute their thoughts and experiences to the Bulletin! Please reach us at


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