SENSE-Cog NEWS | Issue 2 | November 2018
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SENSE-Cog NEWS | Issue 2 | November 2018

Welcome to SENSE-Cog November 2018 newsletter!

Welcome to the second issue of SENSE-Cog News! We hope these bi-annual newsletters will inform you about the SENSE-Cog programme and update you on our progress to date and our plans for the future. This edition will focus on our team in Nicosia. For the French and Greek version of this newsletter please click on the corresponding flag below.



SENSE-Cog at a glance

Congratulations to our Research User Groups members!

32 members of our Research Users Groups in Manchester, Nice, Nicosia and Athens have now completed the Research Awareness Training. 

Research User Groups members training on research awareness, understanding the process of research, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, developing interventions, health economics, ethics and governance.

Professor Iracema Leroi (right) presents certificates of achievement to the Research User Group members Mrs Constantinidou (top left) and Mrs Lekaki in Nicosia.   

A randomised controlled trial of sensory support to improve mental well-being in people with dementia and their caregivers.

Five sites are participating to the trial: Manchester (UK), Dublin (Ireland), Nice (France), Nicosia (Cyprus) and Athens (Greece). The trial protocol has been finalised in January 2018.

To date, the five sites have received ethical approval to begin the recruitment. The site in Nice is expected to start the inclusions in November, the site in Dublin is still waiting for the site agreement between Trinity college and St. James’s.

Twenty-six dyads (participant and companion) have been screened, twenty dyads have been included/randomized (all in Manchester).

SENSE-Cog at work

Brucker Award and Special Symposium

2018 Recipient: Professor Iracema Leroi, University of Manchester

The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) mission is improving the lives of those with disabling conditions through interdisciplinary rehabilitation research. The Brucker Award and Special Symposium is the flagship event of the International Networking Group. Professor Iracema Leroi from the University of Manchester, UK was selected to be the 2018 Brucker Award recipient. 

For more information about ACRM, please visit or contact Fofi Constantinidou, Chair International Networking Group, at

SENSE-Cog@ British Society of Gerontology annual conference on Ageing in an Unequal World

The annual conference of the British Society of Gerontology (4th-6th July 2018) was attended by 650 delegates from 30 countries. The conference theme focused on the topic of ‘ageing in an unequal world’. 

The Manchester SENSE-Cog team convened a symposium on Sensory impairment and dementia: Impact, investigation, intervention and involvement, and our colleague James Nazroo, as the plenary keynote speaker on inequality, opened the conference with a talk on inequalities in later life and their consequences for health and well-being.

News from University of Athens

These past months the research team has been working towards the implementation and the dissemination of the SENSE-Cog programme. The dissemination, through articles in newspaper and oral presentations in congresses and in public events, has raised the interest of the public and of professionals in the field. The teams are working on the recruitment of patients for the RCT and recruitment for the validation study will begin soon.

Nicosia Public Engagement Event

A successful SENSE-Cog public engagement event took place in Nicosia, Cyprus, on October 26, 2018. Special thanks to University of Cyprus for hosting the event, to Research User Group in Nicosia and to everyone who attended. We are grateful to our wonderful speakers who attracted attention of the public with their talks about: key findings in SENSE-Cog up to date, anxiety and depression, support for families and carers in cases of dementia.

SENSE-Cog General Assembly meeting

The annual SENSE-Cog project meeting took place in Nicosia, Cyprus on October 24-25, 2018. It was a fruitful and productive event: Partners from all work packages reported and discussed about the progress and future plans for the next two years.

Center for Applied Neuroscience, 8th Annual Scientific Conference

The SENSE-Cog team presented on various topics at the 8th Annual Scientific Conference. Professor Iracema Leroi talked about the current state of potential Alzheimer's Disease-modifying treatments and new approaches with repurposed off-patent medications as potential low cost, readily available alternatives for Alzheimer's Disease. Professor Dr Ines Himmelsbach shared examples of methodological options on studying interventions with qualitative methods to show relevant results for better intervention studies. The associations between hearing impairment and cognition as well as the impact of hearing interventions on cognition were presented by Dr Piers Dawes. Dr Asri Maharani talked about the findings from two national surveys of ageing to test the hypotheses underlying the relationships between sensory (hearing and visual) impairment and cognitive function.

Meet the team @ Nicosia

rofessor Fofi Constantinidou is Director of the Center for Applied Neuroscience (CAN) and Professor of Language Disorders and Clinical Neuropsychology and an expert on the neuropsychological outcomes of acquired neurological disorders.

Anna Pavlina Charalambous
has a Doctoral Degree in Sensory and Cognitive Neuroscience. She is working as a Research Coordinator and Postdoctoral researcher for SENSE-Cog.  Her research interests include anxiety and anxiety disorders, mental well-being, personality, cognition and emotion relations and cognitive assessment.

Chryssoula Thodi, Clinical Audiologist, is Associate Professor of Audiology at European University Cyprus.  She is the Cyprus Newborn Hearing Screening Program Consultant Audiologist, in charge of diagnostic evaluations and quality control.

Nicosia Research User Group members – perspective

"Our involvement in the Research User Group has been very interesting. At first I didn’t believe that it would be so helpful. The team approached us with questions from the researchers and provided us with lots of important information. Coming here and discussing various issues has been helpful for us. It encouraged us to express our ideas and concerns in such a way that we could contribute to the program."

Research User Group members Mrs. Constantinidou (left) and Mrs. Lekaki talking about their experiences at the public engagement event in Nicosia.

Welcome to the SENSE-Cog team!

New members have joined the SENSE-Cog team

Jenna Littlejohn
– Postdoctoral research fellow (Manchester)

Jenna’s project, part funded by the charity Deafness Support Network, aims to identify how sensory impairment is taken into account in memory clinics and to advise clinicians how best to diagnose and manage patients with comorbid cognitive and sensory impairments. Already, interesting results from a wide-scale survey of clinicians have been found; clinicians in the UK are aware of the overlaps between sensory and cognitive impairment, but they do not routinely screen for sensory impairment nor do they know how this would influence the diagnostic or care pathway.

Nisha Chauhan
- Research Assistant (Manchester)

Nisha is assisting the SENSE-Cog care home study. This study is looking into moving forward and adapting the sensory intervention into people with dementia with hearing and sensory impairments living in residential aged care facilities both UK and internationally. Currently, knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) surveys are being completed in residential aged care homes and dementia specialist care homes to explore the detection and management of hearing and vision impairments in people with dementia in residential aged care facilities.

Catherine Molony - Sensory Support Therapist (Dublin)

Catherine has just recently completed her Master's in Psychological Science, which explored the goal setting process used in person centred planning for individuals with severe/profound Intellectual Disabilities and to consider the meaning of quality of life for those individuals and the importance of appropriate support.

Magali Payne
- Speech Therapist (Nice)

Magali has been working in work package 3 since the beginning of September 2018. She is a speech therapist and teacher in the speech and language pathology department of Nice university. She has completed a Master's degree in developmental psychology and research. Magali is a PhD student working on Alzheimer, dementia and olfactory disease.

Marion Ferrandez
- Researcher and Research Assistant (Nice)

Marion has completed a Master's degree in psychology and neuropsychology of cognitive disturbances. She is working in Nice Memory Center University hospital on research programmes about new technologies and cognition. Marion has been recruited as Researcher on work package 2 and Research Assistant on work package 3 of the SENSE-Cog project in the beginning of July 2018.


Publications of interest

Connect with us!

Coordinator: University of Manchester

WP5 Project Manager:
Jahanara Miah
University of Manchester


SENSE-Cog Project Management:
, Germany
Dr. Otilia Postea


Research Communication:
, Germany
Teresa Gross

For more information visit

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SENSE-Cog has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 668648. Copyright | Imprint

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