Neuroimaging in Dementia Workshop, Bangor University

NeuroSKILL workshop in Bangor 2013

There are about 12,000 people diagnosed with dementia in North Wales alone and with an ageing population it is expected that this number will rise.

Current UK NICE guidelines recommend the use of various neuroimaging techniques such as Computed Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or even Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans in the diagnosis of the different types of dementia. However, the impact of these techniques is often limited by the lack of knowledge and training on neuroimaging techniques and their capabilities.

On the 5th and 6th July 2013 a two-day workshop, Neuroimaging in Dementia, was held at Bangor University. The aim of the workshop was to increase knowledge and expertise about neuroimaging in dementia. The workshop was designed for health care professionals, postgraduates/ postdoctoral students, researchers, and people who work with individuals with dementia to learn, inform and discuss neuroimaging in dementia.

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Dr Elizabeth Kehoe (TCD) explains neuroimaging techniques at the Bangor dementia workshop.

A series of talks about neuroimaging was the main feature of the first day and included:

  • Current research and clinical findings in dementia
  • Neurochemistry in dementia
  • An overview of imaging techniques
  • What might we learn from functional information from fMRI and chemistry
  • Safety in the MRI environment: special consideration for people with dementia
  • A group discussion on MR images: comparing healthy, Alzheimer’s disease and Korsakoff’s syndrome brains.

During the second day attendees had the opportunity to see the School of Psychology’s 3T MR scanner and computer laboratories. In this practical session attendees learned about the safety procedures in the scanner environment, experienced the scanning of an individual, and learned about the different ways data can be analysed and what we can do with this information.

This type of training is unique in North Wales and the workshop proved to be very popular, with attendees coming from North Wales and Ireland. NeuroSKILL hopes that these training programs will broaden and deepen local skills.