From the Director, Prof Chris Rowe
Welcome to the July 2021 edition of our ADNeT Newsletter.
Highlights in this issue include:
- Australian Dementia Forum 2021 – It is not too late!
- ADNeT Registry’s recruitment framework
- Lectures and webinars
- And much more.
I hope you enjoy our newsletter.
If you have any stories you would like us to cover, please email
We look forward to hearing from you.
Prof Chris Rowe.
Australian Dementia Forum 2021 – It is not too late!
Those who attended ADF2021 are still able to view presentations on-demand until 31 July, by using the log-in code they received at the time of registration.
However, a number of people were not able to attend for various reasons and are now contacting us about accessing the presentations from ADF2021. The good news is that they can still register and receive access to all the presentations and live Q&As on demand. To be fair to those who attended, the registrations fees will remain the same.
So, if you missed out on this wonderful conference, here are the links you need:
ADF2021 by the numbers
We are very pleased that we were able to deliver the type of conference we set out to offer you. By all accounts, ADF 2021 was a successful conference:
- 462 delegates
- 8 plenaries, 95 oral presentations, 110 posters
- 93% of delegates found the ADF Very Good/Good
- 98% of delegates found the quality of the plenaries to be Very Good/Good
- 95% of delegates found the quality of the oral presentations under the 4 streams Very Good/Good
- 93% of delegates found the relevance of the conference Very Good/Good
- 91% of delegates found the conference Very Good/Good value for money.
- While we would be the first ones to say that it wasn’t perfect and acknowledge some people found the conference platform challenging (21%), a whopping 78% rated it Very Good/Good.
Innovative Recruitment Framework
The Internal Medicine Journal has just published a paper by the ADNeT Registry describing an innovative recruitment framework for optimising the inclusion of people with cognitive impairment in clinical quality registries (CQRs).
Clinical quality registries are increasingly utilised to monitor and improve healthcare quality.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care recommends opt-out consent to maximise participation and ensure data validity. An underlying assumption of the opt-out approach is that eligible participants have capacity to make an informed decision about participation.
This, however, presents specific considerations for persons with impaired decision-making abilities.
The ADNeT Registry paper – “Optimising participation of persons with cognitive impairment in a national dementia registry: challenges and solutions” – describes its recruitment framework. Based on three key determinants (decision-making capacity, availability of person responsible, and communication of diagnosis), the ADNeT Registry has developed a dual recruitment framework, which comprises an opt-out approach and a number of waivers of consent. This framework respects the wishes of patients and caregivers and provides an innovative model for ensuring people with cognitive impairment are represented in health quality data.
Read the paper at https://doi.org/10.1111/imj.15357
ADNeT and Florey obtain MRFF grant for blood diagnostics
Professors Chris Rowe and Ashely Bush, together with CSIRO’s Jurgen Fripp were successful in obtaining a grant to bringing the latest blood biomarkers technology for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease to Australia.
“The clinical management of cognitive impairment is severely hamstrung by the inaccuracy of clinical diagnosis (70% for AD) and that clinical criteria delay diagnosis until substantial functional impairment (dementia) has developed. Amyloid PET or CSF assay of Aβ42 and phosphorylated tau (pTau) are recommended for earlier and accurate diagnosis of AD2 but PET is very expensive (USD 4-12,000), time-consuming and involves radiation, while lumbar puncture is invasive and not a common office procedure. Identification of a blood-based biomarker, or a combination of blood-based biomarkers, for dementia – that are abnormal early in the disease process, track disease progression, and discriminate between different causes of dementia – would transform clinical research and practice.” Excerpt from the grant application.
The aim of the grant is to bring the PrecivityAD test to Australian clinical practice and facilitate TGA registration, while at the same time collecting data on management impact, effectiveness and cost benefit.
“I look forward to working in a large national and international collaboration to bring predictive testing for Alzheimer’s disease towards use in the clinic,” said Prof Bush.
For more information on the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
National Map of Memory Clinics and Cognitive Decline Assessment Services is now live
The map aims to increase the accessibility of specialised assessment services for dementia and cognitive decline, and to facilitate referrals.
Specialist and multidisciplinary clinics, group private practices and solo practitioners are invited to register to be listed.
Do you – or someone you know – have vascular dementia?
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia, for which there are currently no viable treatments.
Researchers at NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, are looking for people who have a diagnosis of vascular dementia, or mixed Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, to take part in a clinical trial.
The trial investigates whether a unique herbal medicine can help treat vascular dementia. Results of initial trials show promise in improving memory, learning and daily function.
Eligible participants are now being enrolled in Sydney, Wollongong, Lismore, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide.
Check your eligibility:
Phone: 02 4620 3578
Conferences and Webinars
Why beta amyloid is a great biomarker but a poor target for therapy – TODAY!
THURSDAY 15 July 10 am AEST
Special webinar with Dr David Knopman, Mayo Clinic. Organised by the Melbourne Research Centre and The Florey.
For information and registrations, contact Contact: Paul Adlard, email@example.com
Opportunities for Collaborating with ADNeT
Following the success of its workshop at ADF2021, the ADNeT Early-Mid Career Researchers Accelerator Group is organising this upcoming webinar to discuss how researchers can collaborate with ADNeT. The webinar will feature presentations by Prof Chris Rowe (Screening and Trials), Dr Stephanie Ward (Registry) and Prof Sharon Naismith (Memory Clinics).
Date: Tuesday 20 July
Time: 1.00 to 2.30pm AEST
More information at https://www.australiandementianetwork.org.au/researcher/
Improving the Diagnosis and Management of Lewy Body dementia
UNSW Sydney’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) invites you to the upcoming Visiting Lecture Series webinar with Prof John O’Brien from the University of Cambridge.
When: Wednesday, 21 July, 2021
Where: Zoom Webinar
Time: 4:00PM to 5:00PM (AEST) The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session with Professor O’Brien.
More information and registrations – https://cheba.unsw.edu.au/events/improving-diagnosis-and-management-lewy-body-dementia
For assistance with registration or further information, please contact Laurie Mock
Alzheimer’s beyond COVID-19 – DTA Annual Scientific Meeting
Dementia Trials Australia is holding hybrid face to face and virtual Annual Scientific Meeting.
Date: Friday 8 October 2021
Time: 9.15 am to 5.00pm AEST
Location: University of Sydney and online.
The meeting will offer great networking opportunities with 100 attendees comprising Principal Investigators, Sub Investigators and senior clinicians involved in Dementia Trials in Australia.
Face to Face Registration Fee and Virtual Registration: $185 (Face to Face Registration Fee and Virtual Registration: $185 ( Face to Face attendance includes Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea)
Australian Clinical Quality Registry for Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment
Routinely collected linked aged and health care data are valuable for benchmarking and monitoring the quality and safety of care for older adults living with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
In this webinar, Dr Stephanie Ward outlines the Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) Clinical Quality Registry (CQR) – Australia’s first clinical quality registry to measure and benchmark clinical care for people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Dr Monica Cations introduces the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA), and how the data captured is utilised to monitor care quality over time and across geographic regions. Together, Dr Ward and Dr Cations will describe how ROSA and the ADNeT CQR will complement each other to improve dementia care quality and safety across Australia.
This webinar is available at https://youtu.be/rzQITHF7vIA
On a lighter note:
In the last newsletter, we asked if you could guess what were the treatments applied by James Lind in what is considered the first randomised clinical trial.
To sum up:
James Lind carried out what is considered the first randomised clinical trial on 20 May 1747. Not a typo. 1747.
James Lind was a Scottish doctor with the Royal Navy. In 1740, Admiral George Anson set out on a mission to capture the possessions of the Spanish Empire in the Pacific. His trip proved catastrophic – out of 1900 men, 1400 had died, most of them allegedly from having contracted scurvy. According to Lind, scurvy caused more deaths in the British fleets than French and Spanish weapons.
Lind thought that scurvy might be cured by introducing acids to the body and recruited 12 men for his trial. He allocated two men to each of six different ‘treatments’. Lind observed that those who received citrus fruits showed “the most sudden and good visible effects”. Can you guess what the other treatments were?
As promised, the correct answer is:
For the duration of the trial each group received one of the following treatments on a daily basis:
- Group 1: a quart (950ml) of cider;
- Group 2: twenty-five drops of elixir of vitriol (diluted sulphuric acid);
- Group 3: 6 spoonfuls of vinegar (about 90ml)
- Group 4: half a pint (236ml) of sea water;
- Group 5: a spicy paste plus a drink of barley water
- Group 6: two oranges and one lemon. This treatment continued for six days only as they ran out of fruit. However, by this stage, one of the men in this group was fully recovered and the second one almost so.
The only other group that showed any improvement was Group 1 – the cider group.