September 2022 Newsletter View in browser  |  Print
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Professor James Vickers

Welcome to our September newsletter

It is my pleasure to present to you the September issue of our newsletter.

September is a special month as it is designated as ‘World Alzheimer’s Month’ by Alzheimer’s Disease International and includes Dementia Action Week (19-25th) that is led by Dementia Australia. It is an important month to reflect on the degree to which we are inclusive of people with dementia.

Substantial stigma is still associated with this condition, so it is not a topic that is comfortably discussed, and this can create barriers for people with dementia and their carers.

Many of our Centre programs are targeted at defeating the misconceptions around dementia, and we seek to encourage a wide spectrum of our community to engage in supporting people with dementia.

There is much we can all do as individuals to address stigma and discrimination against people with dementia – I hope that September is a month in which we can make important inroads to make our communities more inclusive of people with dementia. 

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Dementia Action Week 2022

September – Dementia Awareness Month

September is dementia awareness month and this year’s theme is ‘a little support makes a big difference.’ During September, take the time to increase your understanding of dementia, how you can make a difference in the lives of people that are impacted by dementia and assist in clearing up some of the misconceptions about this condition.

Grow your knowledge of dementia and learn how to:

o   Give a little support to a person living with dementia,

o   Give a little support to a carer, friend or family member of a person living with dementia, and

o   Help healthcare professionals make their practice more dementia friendly.

The Dementia Australia website is a helpful resource to assist in learning more about how you can support others living with dementia.

The Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre provides educational programs to build knowledge and understanding of dementia within the community.

Enrolments are now open for our Preventing Dementia MOOC, the course offers university-quality education about the latest research in dementia risk and protective factors. The free course provides an opportunity to engage with the perspectives of a global community, without requiring exams or assignments.

Phil Hazell at Wicking Dementia Centre

Younger Onset Dementia

Early in August the Wicking Dementia Centre had a visit from Phil Hazell who shared his lived experience with younger onset dementia. Phil spoke to a captivated audience about how he has been able to remain independent and lead a busy, positive life with dementia.

Phil is an advocate for Dementia Australia and for assistance dogs for those living with dementia, Phil introduced us to Sara his assistance dog and explained her valuable contribution to his day-to-day life.

Click Here  for more information about Phil and his story. 

The Wicking Dementia Team with Rowena and Roger

Wicking Centre Appeal – Rowena and Roger

Over $20,000 was raised during the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre’s most recent giving appeal. The initiative raises funds to support our research and education programs.

Held annually, the 2021 appeal featured Rowena Howard and her father Roger. Roger has Alzheimer’s Disease and Rowena has documented her family’s journey with dementia in a series of short films to highlight the need for more support for those living with dementia and their caregivers.

The Wicking Dementia Centre recently had a visit from Rowena, her husband Grant and her father Roger who met with some of the successful funding recipients from the appeal.

Successful projects which were funded thanks to the generosity of our supporters  include:

o   “A unit dedicated to dementia in Indigenous peoples in the online Dementia Care Degree Program.” (Lyn Goldberg, Clair Andersen, Jennifer Evans, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Tanya Schramm, Claire Eccleston).

o   "Development of an advisory group to identify participant recruitment strategies for establishing a dementia risk profile in Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in Tasmania." (Mohammad Shoaib Hamrah, Larissa Bartlett, Sunny Jang).

o   “Now this is an exciting project. Exciting tools to excite neurons will excite students.” (Sharn Perry, Lyzette Matthews, Jan Leng Cheng, Tony Cook)

o   “Laughter ISLAND: Using comedy to promote brain health and dementia risk reduction behaviours.” (Alison Canty, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Helga Merl, Sam Poulson)

o   “Sniffing out Dementia: Olfactory dysfunction in an ‘at-risk’ group of older Tasmanians.” (Samantha Bramich, Jane Alty, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Leah Beauchamp)

o   “The design and development of a guide for medical health practitioners to facilitate the discussion and diagnosis of dementia within Tasmanian minority ethnic communities.” (Sunny Jang, Maneesh Kuruvilla, Hoang Nguyen, Helga Merl, Katharine Salmon, Mohammad Shoaib Hamrah, Yashi Koirala)

o   “Microglial phenotypes as a risk factor for dementia – how we can begin to decipher and reprogram the immune cells of the brain to improve outcomes.” (Jenna Ziebell, Yasmine Doust)

Click HERE if you would like to help us continue our mission to make a positive difference in the lives of people with dementia and those that care for them.

ADDI First Place Winners List

Alzheimer's Disease Data Initiative (ADDI)

Team Wicking took out first prize in the recent Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) Neuro-toolkit Data Hackathon.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) is a coalition of international organisations and industry partners who are interested in improving Alzheimer’s disease data sharing. Bill Gates brought this initiative together, to move innovation further and faster by connecting researchers with the data they need.

The winners were announced at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held in San Diego, USA.

The competition provided teams with an extensive dataset of biological, demographic and cognitive data and asked entrants to showcase innovative use of ADDI’s new platform, the Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Workbench.

Team Wicking was made up of Eddy Hill, Aidan Bindoff, Joshua Eastgate and Jay Borchard, they used the platform to investigate how modifiable risk factors were associated with biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

They won first prize in the Patient Value and Clinical Impact category.

OUR EDUCATION - Wicking Dementia MOOCS
FREE Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury MOOC - Enrol Today – Enrolments close 19 September 2022 FREE Preventing Dementia MOOC – Opens 11 October 2022 – Enrol Now

FREE Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury MOOC - Enrol Today – Enrolments close 19 September 2022

FREE Preventing Dementia MOOC – Opens 11 October 2022 – Enrol Now

Did you know that a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can occur if you are involved in a car accident, have a fall, a physical altercation or from a sporting accident?

TBI is often referred to as a silent epidemic with more than 69 million people globally sustaining a TBI every year. This is likely to be an underestimate as often those who sustain a mild TBI (concussion) do not seek medical treatment and therefore not included in reports.

This online course aims to raise awareness and build knowledge to reduce risk, as well as improve management and rehabilitation outcomes for people who have experienced a TBI.

The course is accessible and suitable for anyone with a personal or professional interest in learning more about traumatic brain injury.


The Preventing Dementia MOOC is suited to everyone - whether you are an individual with an interest in brain health and/or dementia risk reduction, or an allied health professional, clinician, aged care service provider or health policy professional - this course is designed to be accessible and appealing to all.

The Preventing Dementia MOOC investigates the best available evidence about dementia prevention, drawing on a range of expertise from around the globe.

Our latest Preventing Dementia MOOC opens on 11 October 2022 


MENZIES and MS Australia - Australian MS Longitudinal Study The Tasmanian School of Medicine - Healthcare Redesign MOOC

MENZIES and MS Australia - Australian MS Longitudinal Study

The Tasmanian School of Medicine - Healthcare Redesign MOOC

The Australian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study turns 20!

This year we are celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the Australian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study (AMSLS), a partnership between the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and MS Australia.

About 3000 people now participate in this ongoing survey-based research study, and the real-life data collected is used by MS medical and support services to help improve MS services, treatments and advocacy and ultimately improve the quality of life for people living with MS.

If you're over 18 years old and living with MS in Australia you are eligible to join, and by sharing your stories you can help support vital research. The more participants the greater the impact of our research, so consider joining the AMSLS today. Go here to register: ENROL HERE

For more information, please contact the Australian MS Longitudinal Study team.

t: 03 6226 4739


The Healthcare Redesign MOOC will guide you through the principles of health service improvement, utilizing healthcare redesign methodology.

The course is designed for practising health professionals and health service administrators and will build on your experience, equipping you with the knowledge to tackle workplace issues.

Study the Healthcare Redesign MOOC online and without fees.



Exploring perceptions of eating with Dementia: Findings from the Understanding Dementia MOOC

The Understanding Dementia MOOC offers a great opportunity for participants to share their experiences and understanding of many aspects of dementia through the discussion boards.

One of the discussion boards asks the question 'If I had dementia, the things that might help me to eat include……’

We already know that people with dementia are at high risk of malnutrition as a result of progressive symptoms that affect eating. Maximising opportunities to enhance nutrition and strategies to encourage eating are crucial parts of providing care. We recently undertook a research project to learn more about eating and dementia.

By investigating the answers given to this question, from 3,651 participants we found six things that many people felt were important when thinking about eating with dementia: providing food suited to personal preferences, providing choice, presenting food in an appetising way, creating a pleasant environment, providing help if needed, and considering nutritional needs at end of life.

Participant responses demonstrated many diverse ways to encourage eating for people living with dementia.

Caregiver knowledge and a person-centred approach to eating are essential to maintain quality of life. The findings from this study support the need for improved uptake of nutritional strategies in practice and education on eating with dementia to support caregivers. This study was recently published in Appetite.

For more information see; Goodwin I, Lea E, Bindoff A, Doherty K. Exploring perceptions of eating with dementia: Findings from a massive open online course. 

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CRICOS Provider Code: 00586B | ABN 30 764 374 782