Our team is comprised of genuinely gifted minds

Project Leader, Founder

Iracema Leroi

The SENSE-Cog program has been a key factor in the growing recognition of the importance of sensory-cognitive health for older people in Europe.

I am the overall project leader (coordinator) overseeing all the Work Packages. I am also the specific WP 3 lead acting as global Principle Investigator for the SENSE-Cog Randomised Controlled Trial.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
1. Developing a novel pragmatic intervention to support hearing and vision in people with dementia at home;
2. Designing and completing recruitment for a multi-country RCT to evaluate effectiveness of the intervention;
3. Leading an EU research program and developing professionals' network that has significantly advanced the field of sensory-cognitive health;
4. Developing International Practice Guidelines for the Detection and Management of Hearing, Vision and Cognitive Impairment

Associate Professor of Audiology

Dr. Chryssoula Thodi

Sense Cog created an innovative approach to the identification and support of patient and family needs among people with sensory and cognitive difficulties; it brought together academic and clinical expertise in sensory and cognitive intervention to create a pragmatic effective protocol that can be delivered widely for best outcomes.

I have contributed my Clinical expertise in Diagnostic and Rehabilitative Audilogy in the design, researcher training, and implementation of the Sense Cog intervention protocol. I have participated in various research teams for the International Experts work, review activities, guidelines, and manuscript preparation. I was a principal contributor to two Erasmus+ applications derived by the Sense Cog experiences.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Sense-Cog has been my most extensive and involved EU project. The application process was a valuable lesson in proposal organization and writing. Coordination of the Sense-Cog activities has provided me with great experiences in research implementation. Scientific discovery and dissemination of results have greatly enhanced my academic contacts and professional standing. The Sense Cog partnership has been one of the most significant EU H2020 in Cyprus.

Clinical epidemiologist (MD, PhD)

Eric Frison

I am really glad to be involved in the design and conduct of such a challenging project, with the aim to deliver a high-quality multinational RCT of a complex intervention in persons with dementia and sensory impairments (personalised and home-based sensory support intervention).

The SENSE-Cog RCT will help to carefully evaluate a personalised and home-based intervention. If proven effective, the manualized intervention will help to improve quality of life of persons with dementia and concurrent sensory impairment.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Design and conduct of the SENSE-Cog RCT, a high-quality multinational RCT of a complex intervention

Country PI Ireland for Sense-Cog Intervention

Brian Lawlor

Addressing hearing and vision impairments in people with dementia can improve their brain health and well being.

Addressing hearing and vision impairments in people with dementia can improve their brain health and well being.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Successful recruitment of subjects into trial

Researcher

Dr. Asri Maharani

Hearing and visual impairment is a marker of risk for cognitive decline and dementia. Effective prevention, identification and treatment of hearing and visual impairment may be critically important to reduce the cumulative incidence of dementia.

Managing hearing and visual impairment well in later life improves communication and independence, and reduces loneliness, social isolation and may help to alleviate cognitive decline. The challenge for health systems, commissioners and professionals working in hearing and visual health is to support healthy ageing by ensuring good hearing and visual health.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Our works looking at the impact of hearing aids and cataract surgery on cognitive function have received attention from the media in both UK and US. They appeared in several national newspapers on Friday, October 12 2018, including the Telegraph and The Times. In the US, they resulted in an interview with National Public Radio, Inc. (https://www.scpr.org/news/2018/10/22/86771/want-to-keep-your-brain-sharp- take-care-of-your-ey/).

Co-Project Leader

Piers Dawes

SENSEcog has had global impact. I feel fortunate to have worked with all of the SENSEcog researchers and lay contributors.

SENSEcog has fostered awareness of sensory-cognitive health among the general public and among health care professionals. SENSEcog identified the importance of optimising hearing/vision health for quality of life, particularly for people with cognitive impairment, and provided practical tools to clinicians to provide good quality care.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
development and validation of versions of MoCA for people with hearing/vision loss
*clinical guidelines for supporting hearing/vision needs of people with dementia
*modelling of impacts of hearing/vision interventions on cognitive decline
*publication of clinical guidelines for audiologists supporting hearing needs of people with dementia *Australian national project to translate SENSEcog sensory support intervention to Australian aged care settings

Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist Dementia Care and Memory Assessment Services

Alison Holden

“What an incredible study to be part of! Working with the most amazing people with dementia and their carers as well as remarkable professionals on the SENSE-Cog project has been one of the highlights of my career.

As part of SENSE-Cog, I have been involved in Work-Package 3: Intervention, working as a Sensory Support Therapist (SST) providing the Sensory Intervention to dyads randomised for therapy as part of the RCT. In the latter stages of the study I held the position of Senior SST with responsibility for supporting and supervising the other SST's at each of the five clinical sites. I have also been involved in the development of outputs related to the Sensory Intervention for the SENSE-Cog toolkit.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Key career achievements have included the opportunity to be part of a multi-centre European trial working with eminent professionals across the fields of sensory-cognitive health, opening the door to be involved in writing for publication and hopefully opportunity for further research projects in the future. In addition, holding the position of Senior SST, contributing to development of Sensory Intervention resources for the SENSE Cog toolkit and having my profile on the SENSE-Cog website

Research Associate

Wai Yeung

SENSE-Cog is an inspiring research programme which has the potential to improve the quality of life and care of older adults.

SENSE-Cog is an inspiring research programme which has the potential to improve the quality of life and care of older adults.
Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Successful coordination and setup of research sites in the UK and training research assistants across all European sites.
Director of Research

Cécile Delcourt

The Sense-Cog project made significant progress in the recognition of the mental health impact of sensory impairments and in the development of solutions to improve it.

Our investigations significantly increased the body of evidence regarding the major impact of visual and hearing impairment on mental health (depression, anxiety, cognitive decline and risk of dementia).
Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Exploration of the relationship of sensory impairments with mental health in European population-based cohorts
Clinical project manager

Julie Longobardi

The strength of the project is its European dimension, the diversity of the profiles involved and the breadth of the topics that can be studied through it.

My role as project leader is to coordinate this european trial among the five participating countries. My role is to oversee the regulatory aspects of the project
and ensure that the trial is conducted in accordance with the regulations in force.
Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Management of the European RCT involving 5 countries (UK, Ireland, France, Greece and Cyprus).
Professor of Language Disorders and Clinical Neuropsychology

Fofi Constantinidou

Sense-Cog has raised the awareness on the contribution of sensory health in preserving brain health. This is an important step towards prevention of dementia.

I am the clinical trials cite coordinator-sponsor (Center for Applied Neuroscience, University of Cyprus). My team is involved in WP1, WP2, WP3, WP5. Specifically, we have contributed through our Neurocognitive Study on Aging, the primary longitudinal study on cognitive aging in Cyprus in the meta analysis efforts (WP1), in the validation studies for the new toolkit (WP2), in the clinical studies of sensory intervention (WP3) and in the public-patient invovlement (WP5).involvement

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Various important dissemination activities, publications and presentations.

MD PhD psychiatrist

Renaud DAVID

At Sense-Cog I had a very exciting experience providing a unique opportunity to take into account the early diagnosis of sensory disturbances in daily clinical routine.

provide a better recognition of mild sensory changes in ageing (vision, hearing, olfaction), that tend to worsen cognitive and affective aspects of normal and pathological ageing.
Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Successful recruitment of subjects into trial
Biologist – Consultant R&D projects

Otilia Postea

Project management and consulting of a complex, multinational, European- funded project in the area of mental health with clinical trial.

Successful management, dissemination and communication of the SENSE-Cog project helps increase awareness of the research in the area of mental health, healthy ageing and improved therapeutic management for older people with mental, cognitive and sensory illness.
Director of Research

Jackie Pool

I am delighted to have been a participant in this important program of study that will improve the lives of many older Europeans

I have supported Work Package 2 to determine if the QCS PAL Instrument is reliable and valid for people who are living with dementia and who have hearing and/or sight difficulties.
Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
I am delighted that the PAL Instrument, which I developed in 1995 and which was validated in 2008, continues to be of use to support meaningful occupation and functional ability of people at all levels of dementia.
Professor for Social Gerontology

Ines Himmelsbach

A very diverse and fruitful collaboration that will hopefully bring more patient related interventions to the target group of SENSE-Cog

A very diverse and fruitful collaboration that will hopefully bring more patient related interventions to the target group of SENSE-Cog.
Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
Giving insights in the subjective meaning of dyads confronted with cognitive and/or hearing and vision problems
health economist and pharmacist

Rachel Elliott

The health economics will allow healthcare policymakers to understand both the patient and health care payers' perspectives around the clinical and economic impact of implementing SENSE-Cog in different European countries, over the longer-term. Our work will support decision-making around supporting the sensory-cognitive health of older Europeans.

The health and economic impact of visual and hearing impairment is undervalued by policy-makers. SENSE Cog shines a light on how much sensory health affects the overall quality of life of older adults, as well as proposing and testing a solution. Working with clinical and patient experts across the five countries involved has been an amazing personal experience and has hugely informed the economics work.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
I have built a health economics team that has worked closely with the wider SENSE-Cog team to design and carry out an economic evaluation that is theoretically and methodologically robust, whilst also being applied and relevant to patients, payers and decision makers. We are developing a network of health economists across the countries which should enhance future cross-national working.

Professor of Psychiatry

Antonios M. Politis

It is of vital importance to early detect and assess possible sensory, hearing and/or vision, impairment to elderly population, and especially to those with cognitive impairment. Professionals dealing with cognitive impairments should be aware of the interlink between cognitive and sensory impairment, while assessing people living with dementia and provide them all information necessary and all support needed.

The UoA site completed the RCT despite the outburst of the pandemic, thus providing the appropriate data regarding the Greek population for the further implementation of the program. Moreover, the UoA team formed and trained a PPV/RUG consisted of people living with cognitive and/or sensory impairments and people caring for them. Participants of this group showed interest in their involvement, offering us a new perspective on their vital role in the implementation of future research projects.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
A new perspective, was gained, of the care and knowledge of the interlink of dual or/and triple impairments on elderly people. The development and training of a Public-Patient Voice group was very informative, as well as the validation of, adjusted to cognitive and sensory impairments, assessment tools. Besides that, the RCT involving the intervention of home support and the development of a new role, of a sensory support therapist, enriched the quiver of non-pharmacological interventions.

Research Associate

Dr Jahanara Miah

There is still so much to learn about the brain and dementia, making it an incredibly exciting field. To help us in understanding how best to provide care, prevention, and early diagnosis. Patient involvement is invaluable to developing and maintaining strong, collaborative in health research to advance brain health research.

Managing hearing and visual impairment well in later life improves communication and independence, and reduces loneliness, social isolation and may help to alleviate cognitive decline. The challenge for health systems, commissioners and professionals working in hearing and visual health is to support healthy ageing by ensuring good hearing and visual health.

Key Career Achievement related to Sense-Cog
A key achievement was integrating the patient voice into the programme, navigating the differences of opinion that naturally surface in complex projects such as this. These relationships have also connected me to the real-world outcomes for persons living with dementia, mainly how the authentic involvement of patients and care partners from the earliest stages of the project has produced benefits and shaped the programme and the appropriateness of the proposed methods.