Tzung-Jeng Hwang, IPA Bulletin Editor-in-Chief
There is an old saying that morning is the best startup to a day and spring is the best startup of a year. Later this month, IPA will convene an expert consensus meeting in Lisbon, Portugal to define psychosis in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. IPA has been a leader in defining and developing a better understanding of the neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia. Over the years, expert consensus meetings have been conducted in Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) twice, Lewy Bodies, Vascular Dementia, and Mild Cognitive Impairment, etc. The 2019 Joint International Congress will be held from 31 August – 3 September 2019, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Due to its popularity, the third round of the online Spanish course in psychogeriatrics will be held on 6 May 2019. In addition, IPA leaders and Secretariat will attend the AD/PD, AAIC, and AAGP meetings to have more exchanges with experts and colleagues in this field. Through these efforts and other endeavors, IPA is continuing its mission of creating better mental health for the elderly.
I am happy that there has been a gradual increase in the number of submitted articles and reports. In this issue, there are nine articles, five in “Research and Practice,” three in “Around the World,” and one in “Technology Corner.”
In Research and Practice”:
- Dr. Mark Rapoport (Canada) addresses an interesting and important issue: how to face the challenge of increasing prescriptions of hypnosedative medications? He reviews three different papers and points out that in Quebec, Canada an educational brochure directed at both patients using sedative-hypnotics and their physicians led almost half of the sample to stop their medications.
- Mengelers et al. (Netherlands) introduce the use of involuntary treatment in people with cognitive impairment living at home in the Netherlands. They also emphasize the development of a multi-component approach to provide caregivers the necessary knowledge and tools to prevent involuntary treatment.
- Drs. Diego de Leo and Marco Trabucchi (Italy) discuss the infrequently explored issue of “loneliness”, describing confusion among three terms: being alone, social isolation, and suffering from loneliness. To raise public awareness, the Italian Association of Psychogeriatrics pronounced 15 November as a national day to combat loneliness.
- Dr. Laura Valzolgher (Italy) describes cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) as an important cause of primary lobar intracerebral hemorrhage and vascular dementia in older adults.
- Dr. Karen Reimers (US) briefly presents the advocacy and policy issues in geriatric mental health, ranging from driving capacity, testamentary and financial capacity, and guardianship, to end of life issues.
In “Around the World”:
- Dr. Águeda Rojo (Spain) reports the Spanish Psychogeriatric Society has started a nation-wide training program in the care and intervention of patients with dementia.
- Dr. Liang (Taiwan) highlights the 2018 annual meeting of the Hong Kong Psychogeriatric Association and Tripartite Psychogeriatric meeting on 24 November 2018. More than 70 geriatric psychiatrists, geriatricians, and healthcare professionals from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China, enthusiastically participated in the meeting.
- Dr. Clarissa Giebel (UK) updates us on the issue of health inequality and reports the results of a large Household Health Survey in the North West of England (one of the most deprived regions in England). She reminds us how health inequalities can affect all types of healthcare, including dementia care and medication.
In “Technology Corner”, Dr. Yung-Jen Yang (Taiwan) briefly explains virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality in geriatric mental health care. He introduces the project “A Walk through Dementia” developed by the Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK). In that project, virtual reality technology was implemented as a practical tool to aid the understanding of dementia. Interesting information from several websites is introduced.
These research and local reports from around the world show the diverse and innovative development in geriatric mental health. I cordially invite more members to contribute their thoughts and experiences to the Bulletin! Please reach us at IPABulletin@ipa-online.org.