Aged Psychiatry

The Research Unit within Caulfield Aged Psychiatry has experienced its busiest year yet. This is most encouraging, having only commenced work in 2009.

Our main research activities for the year have involved ongoing work on two large, industry-funded clinical trials examining the safety and efficacy of potential disease-modifying concepts in Alzheimer’s disease. Both are sponsored by eli Lilly, and are known as the LZAN and LZAO studies resectively.
 
A further industry-sponsored Alzheimer’s trial, sponsored by Velacor Therapeutics, commenced in January 2010, with a study sponsored by Prana Biotechnology also due to start in March 2012. The research unit has now established itself as a sought-after site by industry partners, and we receive numerous expressions of interest from big pharmaceutical companies in relation to conducting further research with us.
 
The monies accrued in our research SPF (some $160,000 at year’s end) are allowing us to initiate investigator-driven work. We are currently partnering with a number of sites around Melbourne to drive an examination of models of care within psychogeriatric nursing homes. Our other interests in nursing home psychiatry are leading us to examine the effectiveness of regular staff support within these facilities, and to examine the quality of life of carers in the periods before and after their loved on moving into high-level residential care.
 
In addition, we are conducting research into the area of senile squalor, partnering with a number of local NGO’s and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in this endeavour. Our aim is to collect the largest series of neuropsychology reports on such individuals, with the aim of supporting the hypothesis that frontal lobe deficits invariably underlie the syndrome.
 
Recently Janssen Pharmaceuticals have agreed to fund a 50-patient, Melbourne-based study into the effects of the injectable antipsychotic Invega Sustenna on elderly patients with schizophrenia. This is a Caulfield-based initiative and is proposed to involve four other Melbourne-based sites over a two-year period.
 

Aged Psychiatry team

Team Leader
Associate Professor Steve Macfarlane FRANZCP
 
Medical Officer
Dr Christine Kotsios FRANZCP
 
Clinical trials Coordinator 

Maree Mastwyk RN RPN
 
Research Coordinator
Dr Matt Lewis Ph.D
 
Research Nurse
Ms Jenny Bortoli RN
Ms Natalia Pimenova RN  

 MAPrc Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004

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