Dementia researcher wins first prize at international congress

A trainee doctor at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has been awarded first place for her dementia research poster at the virtual Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress 2021.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 2:46 pm

Psychiatrist Dr Anne Kershenbaum presented a CPFT study investigating why mortality rates are higher for people with Lewy body and Parkinson’s disease dementia compared to Alzheimer’s disease. Anne’s poster abstract was chosen to win first prize for ‘Trainee Researcher of the Year’ by the prestigious college panel.

On behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress Abstract Review Committee, Professor Hugo Critchley said: “We received more than 1,000 diverse abstracts for presentation at this year’s international congress.

“Over 800 were showcased over the course of the event. Dr Kershenbaum’s study stood out as an excellent example of important clinical research. She thoroughly deserves the Trainee Researcher of the Year award for this work.”

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Dr Anne Kershenbaum

The inaugural event online attracted 3,354 mental health and research professionals from 57 countries over three days to enjoy a wide-ranging programme of keynote addresses from expert speakers, training events, seminars and wellbeing sessions.

CPFT consultant psychiatrist Dr Emilio Fernandez-Egea presented one of the sessions - on treatment-resistant psychosis, sharing research from CPFT’s Clozapine Clinic and Cambridge Psychosis Centre.

In addition, clinical lead Dr Muzaffer Kaser presented a poster on CPFT’s staff mental health service.

Dr Kershenbaum is supervised by Professor John O’Brien, honorary consultant old age psychiatrist at CPFT, professor of old age psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, and national specialty lead for dementias at the National Institute for Health Research.

He said: “Anne has shown tireless dedication and great skill in her careful analysis of electronic health record data. This study clearly demonstrates the power of using anonymised and linked health data to address key clinical problems like increased mortality in people with Parkinson’s disease dementia.

“I am delighted that the college has recognised her work and research at CPFT with this well-deserved prize.”

Dr Kershenbaum worked with Professor O’Brien, CPFT consultant psychiatrists Dr Rudolf Cardinal and Dr Annabel Price, and Dr Sinead Moylett to examine mortality risks for people referred into secondary mental health care services over 14 years from 2005 to 2019.

They found that hospital mortality rates were particularly high in men with Parkinson’s disease dementia and that around half of the excess deaths compared to men with Alzheimer’s dementia were due to aspiration pneumonia.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the trust can contact its Windsor Research Unit on 01223 219531 or at [email protected], or register on the national website to Join Dementia Research: