CHeBA’s Co-Director, Professor Henry Brodaty, was the international keynote speaker at the Australia/China Dementia Forum held at the Shanghai International Medical Centre on Thursday, 25th April 2019. The forum was attended by doctors, nurses, academics and government officials with a focus on dementia and best practice.
Professor Brodaty’s talk, which was delivered to a capacity crowd and live streamed to 4,000 people, covered the critical aspects of dementia (particularly Alzheimer’s disease) and how to improve its detection and management by doctors.
Professor Brodaty emphasised that all patients with cognitive symptoms deserve a comprehensive assessment and not simply be diagnosed with old age. An important part of the diagnostic process is to obtain a detailed history from the patient and even more critically from someone who lives with the patient such as a spouse or close relative. The spectacular advances in high tech diagnostic techniques are helpful but not required for majority of patients.
His talk also covered the effect of dementia on family carers and how to best help them and also how to improve quality of life of people with dementia.
On Friday, 26th April Professor Brodaty engaged with a medical channel on national television discussing the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
“BPSD are ubiquitous affecting 90% of people with dementia at some time during the course of the disease. They can be preventable and can usually be treated without drugs which we know can cause serious side effects”.
On Saturday, 27th April Professor Brodaty delivered a talk to 300 attendees at the Shanghai Mental Health Centre on Prevention of Dementia.
The Australia/China Dementia Forum is an important step in building collaboration with one of the fastest ageing countries in the world. China faces the legacy of the multigenerational one child policy: one child with two parents and four grandparents. Dementia figures prominently in how China will meet this challenge and more nursing homes are now being built. Australia has built a strong reputation in aged care and it is a privilege to be able to share our expertise in prevention and in management of behaviours and psychological symptoms associated with dementia and to learn from my colleagues about their strategies.