Event to challenge definition of Alzheimer's
SCIENCE WEEK:Is Alzheimer’s a disease or is it a natural consequence of growing old? It may be just part of ageing and it may be possible to delay its arrival, according to a Dublin City University researcher.
Dr Kate Irving, a lecturer in mental health nursing, will take quite a controversial approach to Alzheimer’s as a panellist taking part in an Alchemist Cafe event this evening in Dublin entitled The Brain: Do We Know It?
Joining her will be Dr Arlene Egan, psychology coach and managing director of Building2Think, and Prof Orla Hardiman, consultant neurologist at Beaumont Hospital and professor of neurology at Trinity College Dublin.
Brian Trench of the Irish Science Technology Journalists’ Association will serve as chairman for the evening.
Dr Irving is involved in “cognitive health” research, trying to establish ways to maintain cognitive abilities as we grow older. She will intentionally be provocative by arguing that Alzheimer’s may not be a specific disease process involving plaques and tangles in brain cells. It may be part of a natural process as we age, she suggests.
A number of risk factors for Alzheimer’s have been identified including stress, obesity, smoking, blood pressure and cholesterol levels among others.
If these can be controlled through mid-life – 50-60 years – then the later diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias could be delayed.
“There is good evidence these factors make up at least 50 per cent of your risk of getting dementia,” said Dr Irving.
She advocates a programme in response that includes controlling diet and weight, stress and smoking and includes pursuing cognitive activities.
The Alchemist Cafe takes place this evening at the Mercantile Bar, Dame Street, Dublin at 7.30pm.
The event is free and open to the public.
What’s on Beekeeping, bodies, poems
Bees and Beekeeping with John McMullan, free family talk, Malahide Library, Co Dublin, 7pm
The Human Body - the Ultimate Machine, interactive exhibition with Analog Devices and the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Limerick, general public, free, 7.30pm, Foundation Building, UL
“An evening of Science, Poetry, Music and the Lives of Sligo Scientists”, presentation with Brian Leyden, Gerry Harrington and the staff from the School of Science, IT Sligo, general public, free, Canis Major, Clarion Hotel, Clarion Road, Sligo