News & Events
Anja was recently interviewed on the situation on nursing homes during the pandemic.
From the introduction:
Is care for older people in good hands today at the Ministry of the Family and what is needed to ensure that the same optimal care is provided in all homes in Luxembourg now and in the future? After all, people in need of care are already particularly vulnerable due to their functional limitations – all the more so in a pandemic, where major threats to cognitive abilities lurk. “They need to be treated as equals – respecting their fundamental right is the basis for this,” says Prof. Anja Leist, a psychology professor at the University of Luxembourg who researches health inequalities and dementia. As a scientist, she says she is used to keeping an eye on the limits of her knowledge. “If I read up on a topic for a few days, I can’t reach the same level of knowledge as someone who has studied it for more than five years,” she says, calling for keeping in mind that also in everyday care, standards change and new knowledge must be made available to solve old problems. She has concepts in mind for who can be helpful and how.
See the interview in German language here.
During summer and fall 2020, we had several projects and events closely related to the work on the CRISP project. Click on the links for further information.
- Radio 100komma7 hosted a discussion on vulnerability of older adults, particularly those living with dementia and living in care homes. It was aired on 28th of November. Anja commented on the current situation in LU from a psychological perspective. Find a summary of the discussion (EN) and a link to the podcast (LU/DE) here.
- The H2020 funded SAPHIRe project hosted a workshop on the access to health data (29 October 2020). Find Anja’s recording on the patients’ perspective here.
- Anja teaches in the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences on the topics Health Inequalities, Epidemiology of Ageing, Cognitive Ageing and Dementia, Inequalities in Ageing, and Vulnerability in a Pandemic. Find the slides and recordings here.
- Anja is member of the executive committee of the CON-VINCE study in Luxembourg. Find an interview on her research on the psychological impact of the confinement measures in older adults during spring 2020 here.
We have presented two ongoing paper projects at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) (held virtually) on 27-31 July 2020, Using cohort data to emulate lifestyle interventions: Long-term beneficial effects of initiating physical activity on cognitive decline and dementia (Anja Leist, Graciela Muniz-Terrera, and Alina Solomon), and Prevalence of memory impairment in Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2000-2015 (Fabiana Ribeiro, Yeda Aparecida de Oliveira Duarte, Jair Lício Ferreira Santos, and Anja Leist).
Ariane Bertogg presented our paper Partnership Transitions and Cognitive Functioning among the European 50+ at the 18th Meeting of the European Network for the Sociological and Demographic Study of Divorce (held virtually), 14-16 October 2020, and will present this paper also at the International Sociological Association’s RC28 Spring Meeting in Turku (postponed to June 2-4, 2021).
We were at the GSA Annual Meeting (held virtually), 4-6 November 2020:
- Jason Settels presented our paper Changes in Neighborhood-Level Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Older Americans’ Cognitive Functioning
- Fabiana Ribeiro presented our late-breaker poster on the Prevalence of Mild Cognitive Impairment in Latin America and the Caribbean: A systematic review
- Anja Leist discussed our late-breaker poster on the Mental health impact of the confinement measures during the COVID-19 pandemic in Luxembourg (CON-VINCE study; poster co-authored with Claire Pauly, Valerie Schröder, Laure Pauly and Rejko Krüger)
In the Press
Revue, 4 March 2020
The Revue cover story is written in German language.
Anja Leist talks about the gender bias in academia, and how educational and gender inequalities are connected to dementia. The CRISP team investigates these and other risk factors of dementia.
Gender equality can contribute to explaining gender differences in cognitive ageing, because women who received equal opportunities as men in their working life and in education perform better on cognitive tests.
The CRISP team further compares the educational systems of different countries. Years of education and quality of education both play important roles for cognitive performance. The more education and thus, cognitive stimulation, children and adolescents receive, the higher the potential to build up cognitive reserve, which can delay the development of dementia. The CRISP team compared different European countries at different points in time. Equality of educational opportunity, the extent to which children from more and less advantaged parental backgrounds receive schooling that is matched to their abilities, was positively linked to cognitive performance at older ages.
Anja also gives some background on dementia. It is a disease that is common around the world, and with population ageing, more and more people will be affected. In the absence of a cure, we need to prevent the development of dementia. The FINGER-trial gives first promising results (published by Ngandu, Kivipelto and others in Lancet in 2015). With a mix of intensive coaching (diet, cognitive training, and sport), cognitive decline was slowed down over two years. The CRISP project contributes to understanding better which lifestyle changes help most to reduce dementia risk.
Télécran, 12 October 2019
The article in German language describes the challenges that families and caregivers of people living with dementia face, and presents national activities and expertise in dementia. It is the first to report the outcomes of the first Dementia Research Forum of the CRISP project in September 2019. At the Dementia Research Forum, persons living with dementia, close relatives and professionals in the healthcare sector were invited to the university campus, learned about the research project and gave recommendations on the research and dissemination of research findings.
Letzebuerger Journal, 20 August 2019
The article in French language highlights some of the known risk factors of dementia and presents the objective of the ERC-CRISP project to understand better which behavior changes can reduce risk of dementia.
Radio 100.7, 19 October 2018
A radio interview in German language on the objectives of the ERC-CRISP
Wort, 11 March 2017
Workshops in Lycée Belval: "Don't confine persons living with dementia" ("Menschen mit Demenz soll man nicht einsperren")
The article in German language on an earlier outreach activity presents one of the dementia awareness workshop for school pupils in a Lycée technique in Luxembourg. Find more information in English language here.
Janet Maccora is an Australian PhD candidate affiliated with Neuroscience Research Australia and the University of New South Wales. She has a background in epidemiology and her research interest is in the protective association between education and dementia. While working with the ERC-CRISP Cognitive Ageing project team, Janet would like to explore gender and cultural differences in the association between education and dementia, using large cross-cultural datasets such as the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Her two-month research stay is funded by a travel scholarship from the Australian Research Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR).
Esch-sur-Alzette, 19-20 September 2019
On 19 and 20 September 2019, the first Dementia Research Forum took place on the Belval campus. Persons living with dementia were invited to the university to discuss the research questions of the CRISP project with the PI and to advise on the research and dissemination of the research results. As relatives and caregivers of persons living with dementia also showed interest in the event, a second day was added to the event where close relatives of a person who lives or had lived with dementia were invited. The participants had the opportunity to bring along accompanying persons.
The idea of giving people affected by dementia a voice in research projects is already being successfully implemented in other countries such as the UK. In fact, a common saying by dementia advocates is “Nothing about us without us”. Most importantly, people with dementia from their viewpoint as experts in the disease – after all, they live with it – should advise us researchers on how to do better research and better explain our research results to the public. People living with dementia should be given the opportunity to influence research by giving input to which factors they think more knowledge is needed about.