Atlantic Senior Fellow

Atlantic Institute Announces Winners of the Inaugural Atlantic Senior Fellows Awards

Two projects emblematic of the vision and values of the Atlantic Fellows win £50 000 each

This story originally appeared on www.AtlanticFellows.org

OXFORD, UK – The Atlantic Institute has awarded the inaugural Atlantic Senior Fellows Awards to two projects that advance its mission to create fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies.

This year’s Atlantic Senior Fellows awards, worth £50 000 each and open to Fellows who have graduated their programs, were presented to two teams for their impactful work:

• The East Mediterranean Brain Health Initiative (EMBHI)

EMBHI is a joint project of three Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health: Hany Ibrahim of Cairo, Egypt, Elaine Howard of Kilkenny, Ireland, and Stelios Zygouris of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Designed primarily to help people with dementia in underserved populations, the EMBHI promotes information and expertise sharing among participating countries. Starting with Greece and Egypt, the aim is to create a vibrant community of expertise in the East Mediterranean that will work collaboratively to implement better brain health services.

• The Development of a Health Impact Assessment Framework for the Philippines

This is a joint initiative of two Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity in Southeast Asia: Somporn Pengkam of Thailand and Beverly Lorraine Chua Ho of the Philippines.

This project successfully introduces a new way of engaging deeply with local communities in the Philippines to understand and address the health impacts of large-scale industrial projects. Both Pengkam and Ho see rich potential for sharing their experience more broadly in the Southeast Asia region.

Atlantic Institute Executive Director, Dr Penelope Brook said the inaugural Senior Fellow Awards recognise, support and celebrate impactful work that is emblematic of the vision and values of the Atlantic Fellows global community.

Four projects in all were shortlisted for the Senior Fellow Awards: other finalists were Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity, Jane Sloane for her project: Framing Equality and comedian and monologuist, Josh Kornbluth, Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health for his project: Citizen Brain. Both awards were presented at a ceremony at Rhodes House in Oxford where the Atlantic Institute is based and which was attended by more than 130 Fellows from the seven global Atlantic Fellows programs. Next year will see four Atlantic Senior Fellow Awards presented, each worth £50 000 to align with the year on year increase in the number of Fellows.

The Atlantic Fellows is supported by Atlantic Philanthropies.

About the winners:

The East Mediterranean Brain Health Initiative

• Elaine Howard, Kilkenny, Ireland: Elaine holds a master’s of science in dementia from Trinity College Dublin. Working in both the private and NGO health care sectors, her expertise lies in developing and implementing personalized care for people with dementia, facilitating changes in practice, and sharing that knowledge to enable practice and policy change across the wider sector. She also has extensive experience in operational management and service model development and implementation within the financial services sector.

• Hany Ibrahim, Cairo, Egypt: Hany is a geriatrician in the Geriatric and Gerontology Department, Ain Shams University Hospital, Cairo, Egypt. He completed his residency in both geriatric medicine and internal medicine at Ain Shams University Hospital with clinical experience in a variety of elderly care programs, such as acute, sub-acute, long term care, home care, and critical care management. He holds a master’s of science degree in late onset depression and a doctorate degree in geriatric medicine from Ain Shams University. He also holds a diploma in hospital management. Currently, Ibrahim is a lecturer in geriatric medicine and director of the Geriatric Intensive Care Unit at Ain Shams University Hospital.

• Stelios Zygouris, Thessaloniki, Greece: Stelios is a neuropsychologist focusing on computerized cognitive testing and specializing in the use of serious games for cognitive screening. He created the first serious game-based cognitive screen and participated in the design and translation into Greek of various computerized cognitive tests. He is a PhD candidate in a joint program at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Network Aging Research at the University of Heidelberg, with a scholarship from the Robert Bosch Foundation Stuttgart. His PhD project focuses on the use of longitudinal performance data on a self-administered serious game to detect mild cognitive impairment.

The Development of a Health Impact Assessment Framework for the Philippines

• Beverly Ho, Manila Philippines: Beverly is Health Research Division Chief at the Philippines Department of Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau. She works on providing the Department of Health with evidence needed to support health systems reforms to improve the health of Filipinos equitably and efficiently.

• Somporn Pengkam: Somporn is a Community Health Impact Assessment Practitioner based in Udon Thani, Thailand. She works with rights litigators and academics to facilitate community health impact assessment learning in Thailand and Myanmar.

About the Atlantic Fellows

There are currently almost 400 Atlantic Fellows from 61 countries and that number is expected to rise to almost 3000 over the next decade.

https://www.atlanticfellows.org

About the Atlantic Institute

The Atlantic Institute, based at Rhodes House, University of Oxford, supports the global network of Atlantic Fellows to learn and work across programs, borders and disciplines to advance fairer, healthier more inclusive societies. It supports a lifelong community of action among Atlantic Fellows by providing them with access to long-term resources, wider networks and opportunities to connect, learn and collaborate to tackle inequities.

https://www.atlanticfellows.org/atlantic-institute

About Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies have committed over $660M, alongside other partner organizations and governments, to support the work of a global network of thousands of Atlantic Fellows over the next two decades, and beyond.

This investment – in both the Atlantic Fellows and the institutions that will support and nurture them – is the foundation’s biggest bet ever. It is the culmination of Atlantic’s long history of investing in people and in their vision, opportunity and ability to realize a better world.

https://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/

For more information about the Atlantic Senior Fellows Awards and Programs:

Visit:

https://atlanticfellows.org/news/2019/7/15/inaugural-atlantic-senior-fellow-awards

Contact:

Fionnuala Sweeney, Director of Communications, Atlantic Institute f.sweeney@atlanticfellows.org

For pictures of the winners: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JCGP1CW5vB8i5NZoY5lEnUQpje6-R2Jh

GBHI Gathers Brain Health Specialists to Focus on Dementia in Latin America and Beyond

Scientists, clinicians and health professionals convene to consider the latest research and ideas in dementia.

By Niall Kavanagh

“Brain health is embedded in equity,” said Victor Valcour, MD, professor of neurology and executive director of Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), to open the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) Satellite Symposium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 10. “Risk factors for dementia are rooted in health disparities.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Brazil and, more broadly, Latin America—where a third of the population lives in poverty with limited access to health care, combined with one of the world’s fastest growing elderly populations—are experiencing growing rates of dementia faster than most of the world.

Such was the setting for this global gathering of about 600 scientists, clinicians and health professionals, co-hosted by UC San Francisco and Trinity College Dublin’s collaborative GBHI.

A GROWING PROBLEM

In Brazil, about 1.7 million people live with dementia, and three quarters of them are undiagnosed. Across Latin America, roughly 4.6 million people have dementia, and two-thirds of them have Alzheimer’s disease. Like much of the world, dementia cases in Latin America are expected to triple by 2050.

“With this will come great challenges in dementia care, diagnosis, and prevention,” said Valcour.

The prevalence of dementia is higher in Latin America than much of the world, including North America and Europe, in part due to the aging population, but also because of health disparities. Dementia symptoms tend to emerge earlier in Latin American populations than others, likely due to low literacy rates, few years of formal education, high rates of poverty, and limited access to health care.

Together, these attributes reduce “cognitive reserve”—or the brain’s ability to adapt—which may protect against dementia symptoms. Further, many Latin Americans have high blood pressure and diabetes—known risk factors for dementia—compared to people in high-income countries.

There is no cure for dementia, but drug and behavioral interventions—such as healthy diet, regular exercise, and controlling blood pressure—are thought to delay onset of symptoms, and thus prevent disease.

THINKING LOCALLY, ACTING GLOBALLY

The aim of the symposium was to consider the latest research in dementia science and the need to create a National Dementia Plan for Brazil, part of the WHO’s 2017 goal to make dementia a public health priority.

The three-day meeting featured contributions from Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health at GBHI, including Maira Okada de Oliveira, who is working to improve diagnosis of dementia among illiterate groups in Brazil; Elisa Resende, MD, who is studying how teaching literacy to adults in Brazil has a high potential to lower their risk of dementia; and Barbara Costa Beber, PhD, who is increasing awareness of dementia among Brazil’s 40,000 speech and language therapists.

“From projects rooted in local communities, to national training initiatives and pan national networks, we want to equip leaders with tools to address dementia across Latin America and beyond,” said Lea Grinberg, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and GBHI executive committee member.

In addition to discussing the unique challenges dementia poses for Latin American countries, the AAIC Satellite Symposium considered a wide range of dementia-related topics, including sleep medicine, gender differences in dementia, and how to reduce stigma about dementia.

Atlantic Fellows Boon Lead Tee, MD, MSc and Yue Leng, PhD, MPhil—as well as Drs. Flavia Garcez and Ismael Calandri—won best posters for their respective projects, “Neurolinguistcs Presentation of Chinese Speaking Primary Progressive Aphasia Individuals” and “Sleep Medication Use and Risk of Dementia in a Biracial Cohort of Older Adults."

Brian Lawlor, MD, deputy director of GBHI director, said he is hopeful the gathering will emphasize the importance of a public health approach to dementia, and thus strengthen collaborations and innovations. “Together as an activated community, change can be delivered,” said Lawlor.

New initiative to help promote brain health among children launched

New initiative to help promote brain health among children launched

My Brain Robbie, a fantastic new initiative to promote brain health among school going children, has been launched through the Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders. The project includes an animated video of a little brain which helps children learn about the eight steps to keeping our brains healthy, along with free educational resources for parents and teachers.

New study involving GBHI researchers shows link between neuropsychiatric symptoms and Alzheimer’s disease

New study involving GBHI researchers shows link between neuropsychiatric symptoms and Alzheimer’s disease

A team of researchers including GBHI faculty and an Atlantic Senior Fellow, recently published new findings in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease which showed that the earliest stages of the brain degeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease are linked to neuropsychiatric symptoms.