RICE announces its first PhD student fellow and a new fellowship programme to expand the existing dementia research capacity at the Institute. The three-year PhD study has been funded by the Medlock Charitable Trust which supports local charities working with the young, elderly, disabled or vulnerable.
Research activity at RICE focuses on three areas of health for older people; Thinking Clearly, Moving Well and Staying Strong. Our aim is to fight for a cure for dementia and other conditions of older age including Parkinson’s disease and the decline of bone and muscle health which impacts greatly on the wellbeing of older people and their families.
Tomas Welsh, Medical Director at RICE said: “We are delighted to be hosting our first PhD student fellowship and that Aron will be working with us over the next three years to help us understand more about psychological distress among dementia patients. This is the beginning of a growing fellowship scheme allowing the charity to develop knowledge to help us improve care and support for those affected by dementia and other conditions of older age. Dementia is on the increase with more than 1 million people expected to have it by 2030, so it is vitally important that centres, like RICE, invest in research to learn more about the issues facing families so that treatments and support can meet their needs better.”
Anita McGrogan, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at The University of Bath said: “I am pleased to supervise Aron on his PhD looking at data on psychological distress among dementia patients from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, a large primary care database. It is exciting to work with Aron and his team at RICE who are experts in the field of dementia and the care of older people. I’m a statistician and love to be involved in the complex modelling of Big Data projects but I’m always keen to understand the connection between data and patient outcomes. Working with RICE has the reciprocal benefit of providing us with the real-world experience their team has of working with dementia patients as well as being top researchers in their field.”
Aron Jarvis student fellow at RICE said: “I am excited to be selected as RICE’s first PhD fellow and I am thankful to RICE for this opportunity as doing a PhD on dementia has been a major goal for me in recent years. My research, through the University of Bath, will involve using data from a large, primary care, electronic healthcare database to investigate symptoms of psychological distress in people with dementia. I am interested in whether we can use these data to establish what might increase, or reduce, the risk of a person with dementia experiencing psychological distress. I am also interested in whether psychological distress is a risk-factor for, or early-symptom of, dementia.”
Stuart Ballard, 75, from Keynsham said: “In October 2020 my wife and I were asked to take part in the PrAISED Study that RICE were managing locally on behalf of a national research study. My wife, Pam, had been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s so we felt anything that would potentially help her or others had to be beneficial. We found the Study a worthwhile experience, it gave us something positive to focus on and we thank the RICE team for their support and for including us in their research.”