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Editor's Note


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

It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic will not end in the near future. Under this situation, the IPA board decided to keep moving forward by adopting virtual media to provide a series of programs for our global members. Dr. Reichman has described these programs in the president's message, including educational programs (on-demand education program, webinar, café, debate, journal club, etc.) and special awareness activity (i.e., the Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Week). The IPA congress for 2021 will be held as a virtual one (from November to December), in addition to a virtual joint IPA/Japanese Psychiatric Society regional meeting in September. Your participation in these activities is very welcome.

In this issue, there are eight articles, five in "Research and Practice", two in "Around the World", and one in "Technology Corner".

In "Research and Practice", Dr. Rita Khoury (Lebanon) reviews the controversies of the FDA's approval of Aducanumab (Aduhelm/BIIB037; Biogen/Eisai), a monoclonal antibody targeted towards amyloid plaques. This compound is not the cure for the debilitating disease but may constitute a glimpse of hope by targeting one of many pathways implicated in the pathophysiology of AD. Dr. Clarissa Giebel (United Kingdom) presents the first evidence on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on care home visitation, showing a lack of guidance and communication between the government and care homes, and between care homes and families. These facts caused frustration and anger in families. Dr. Laura Valzolgher (Italy) discusses the role of palliative care in the geriatric population during the COVID-19 era. Dr. Migita D'cruz et al. (India) explores the autonomy and identity of people living and dying with dementia. She suggests shared decision-making, advance care directives, and proxy representatives are options available to safeguard autonomy and agency in such cases. Dr. Suthikarn Arunrasameesopa et al. (Thailand) reports their studies on the attachment styles in residents of long-term care settings in Thailand, and identifies the relationship among attachment styles, depression, and loneliness.

In "Around the World", Ms. Ha-Neul Kim et al. (United States) reports how their team used technology to deliver psychosocial education programs to older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their Brain Health Project demonstrated effectiveness in engaging older adults and enhancing their competence in modifying physical, psychological, and social risk factors for brain health using technology. Dr. Debanjan Banerjee et al. (India) describes their qualitative study on the experiences, coping, and challenges faced by the older transgender adults in India. These gender issues are rarely investigated.

Finally, in the Technology Corner, Ying-Jyun Shih and Dr. Yung-Jen Yang (Taiwan) update us on the role of digital biomarkers in the field of geriatric psychiatry. They advocate more studies could embed with digital devices, which may help in translational medicine to bridge the gap between the digital data and the clinical outcomes.

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