NEW ROLE AND PROMOTION
Dr Steiner was promoted to Associate Professor in January 2020 and in March formally started in the role of Director of Research for the NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University. In this new role, A/Prof Steiner will contribute to building NICM’s research profile, enhancing and deepening the intellectual culture, increasing the Institute’s research funding, collaborative research projects, higher degree research and academic outputs.
You can read more in the NICM April 2020 newsletter here.
WEBINAR: NHMRC NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR DEMENTIA RESEARCH
Dr Steiner chaired a webinar on NHMRC Investigator Grants and Ideas Grants in December, 2019 for dementia researchers via the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research. The webinar provided context on recent changes to NHMRC grant schemes and panel discussions with grant review panel members Dr Ashleigh Smith, Dr Louise Mewton, Prof Tim Karl, A/Prof Olga Shimoni, and Dr Marco Morsch.
You can watch the webinar below.
PODCAST: FX MEDICINE
Dr Steiner was interviewed for a podcast on Herbal Interventions in Cognitive Decline and Dementia by Andrew Whitfield-Cook for FX-Medicine. The podcast discusses what causes dementia, technologies to diagnose and track its progression, the contributing factors in its aetiology such has inflammation, and the latest on interventions.
NHMRC IDEAS GRANT REVIEW PANEL MEMBER
Dr. Steiner was part of the annual grant review panels for NHMRC ideas grants, August, 2019. Dr. Steiner contributed her expertise on neuroimaging, electroencephalography (EEG), and dementia to assess a wide range of applications on one of the neuroscience panels.
SCIENCE AMBASSADOR TO CHINA
Since she was selected as one of sixteen scientists to take part in the 2016 Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program (YSEP), Dr Steiner has been a Science Ambassador to China. The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering featured Dr Steiner in a video to highlight the benefits of YSEP and promote it to attract 2019 applicants.
You can watch the video below.
RESEARCH MAKING AN IMPACT
Dr Steiner’s research was featured as part of the Western Sydney University 2018 Town & Gown Gala Dinner, as “research making an impact.” Western created a promotional video to publicise the University’s Health and Medical Research that was played at the event, which featured Dr Steiner. A media release describing Dr Steiner and her team’s work on the project for a new memory clinic in Western Sydney was also published in October, 2018.
The video below highlights the impact of Health and Medical Research at Western Sydney University. Dr Steiner features in the video at around 03:30.
AGEING RESEARCH WHITE PAPER
Western Sydney University commissioned a series of White Papers to bring together interdisciplinary and collaborative teams to showcase the distinctive expertise and capacities of health and wellbeing research. As the ageing research cluster representative on the Western Sydney University Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee, Dr Steiner led the Ageing Research White Paper, which outlined the key challenges, opportunities, and a direction forward for ageing research in Western Sydney.
FOOD, AGEING, AND THE FUTURE
Dr. Steiner was interviewed about the link between our diets and healthy brain ageing by Rebecca Huntley as part of ABC Radio’s Future Tense series. Dr. Steiner discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the current body of evidence on diet and brain health as it relates to dementia risk reduction and cognition. The interview was broadcast on ABC Radio National and was cross-promoted on ABC News Radio across multiple states and was also covered on ABC Online.
The interview aired on September 16, 2018, and you can listen here.
YOUNG TALL POPPY SCIENCE AWARD WINNER
Dr. Steiner was awarded a prestigious Young Tall Poppy Science Award (YTP Award) by the Australian Institute for Policy and Science on August 16, 2018. The YTP Awards recognise excellence in early career research and science communication and are highly competitive. Dr. Steiner was nominated by Prof. Kaarin Anstey, an international leader in dementia prevention research from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA). You can read Western Sydney University’s media release, featuring an interview with Dr. Steiner here. Dr. Steiner was also interviewed by Simon Marnie on ABC Radio on August 18, 2018, and you can listen to the interview here.
NHMRC PROJECT GRANT REVIEW PANEL MEMBER
Dr. Steiner was part of the annual grant review panels for NHMRC project grants, 13 – 16 August, 2018. Dr. Steiner contributed her expertise on neuroimaging, electroencephalography (EEG), and dementia to assess a wide range of applications on one of the neuroscience and dementia panels.
CPD EVENT FOR LOCAL GPS
In collaboration with South Western Sydney Primary Health Network, Dr. Steiner, geriatrician and academic collaborator Dr. Mark Hohenberg, and carer Mrs. Nancy Russo ran a CPD event for over 30 GPs on August 7, 2018. The event focused on dementia management in primary care: from prevention through to the management of challenging behaviours. Dr. Steiner discussed practical ways that GPs can screen for mild cognitive impairment in their older patients, and how to translate the latest evidence on dementia prevention into primary care. The event was well received, with all GPs positively evaluating their experience. You can download the event flyer here, and read the GPs’ evaluation summary here.
The Australian & New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine annual conference (ANZSGM2018) was hosted at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, June 27 – 29, 2018. Dr. Steiner presented a poster on behalf of her team’s work on co-creating a new model of care for a multidisciplinary memory clinic. High achieving fifth year medical student Tamara Johnson (supervised by Dr. Steiner and Dr. Emma George) also presented the findings from her community research project on venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk screening in residential aged care facilities.
AUSTRALIAN DEMENTIA FORUM
Dr. Steiner was part of the local organising committee for the NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research 2018 Australian Dementia Forum (ADF2018). At the forum, Dr. Steiner presented the latest research on behalf of her team, contributed to a round table discussion on dementia prevention, and chaired a number of sessions highlighting research on the latest treatments and interventions for dementia. ADF2018 was hosted at the Sydney Masonic Centre, June 4 – 5, 2018.
CHANNEL 9 TODAY SHOW INTERVIEW
Dr. Steiner was interviewed on the Channel 9 Today show by Peter Stefanovic and Allison Langdon on April 14, 2018. In her interview, Dr Steiner discussed a clinical trial she is running that is looking at a potential new treatment for people with memory loss who have an increased risk of dementia.
You can watch the segment here.
INVITED SEMINAR: THE SECRET TO HEALTHY BRAIN AGEING
On April 9, 2018, Dr. Steiner gave an invited seminar on healthy ageing as part of NSW Senior’s Week to over 100 seniors at Carrington Care, Camden. The seminar covered the latest evidence and strategies to delay deterioration and reduce the risk of dementia.
The HEADBOX Lab newsletter features some exciting updates and progress from Dr Steiner and her team. You can download and read the December 2017 newsletter here.
AGEING RESEARCH WHITE PAPER
As the Western Sydney University ageing research cluster representative on the Health and Wellbeing Advisory Panel, Dr Steiner successfully led a team of over 10 academics and clinicians to be awarded a $5,000 grant to develop a White Paper for the ageing research priority area. To date, the project has involved:
- An Ageing Research Think Tank hosted on September 13, 2017 to set ageing research priorities with over 60 key internal and external stakeholders
- An Ageing Research Round-Table Discussion hosted on October 25, 2017 during Western Sydney University’s research week to develop an ageing research action plan with more than 30 stakeholders for Western Sydney
- The Ageing Research White Paper that outlines the key challenges, opportunities, and a direction forward for ageing research in Western Sydney.
The next step is to establish an Ageing Research Consortium that will formally connect stakeholders and ageing researchers to oversee the implementation of the ageing research action plan, and ensure real change in the health and wellbeing of seniors in Western Sydney and beyond.
A “HOW TO” GUIDE FOR CARERS TO LIVE WELL WITH DEMENTIA
On Saturday, July 1, 2017, Dr Steiner joined Prof Kate Stevens to speak with carers at a BaptistCare Retreat in Mulgoa. Dr Steiner presented on the latest evidence and strategies to delay deterioration and reduce the risk of dementia to over 20 people caring for someone with dementia.
CHANNEL 9 NEWS: NEW MEMORY CLINIC
Dr Steiner and Dr Mark Hohenberg were interviewed on Channel 9 news about their work developing a new memory clinic in South Western Sydney. The area is forecast to see the biggest increase in dementia prevalence out of all of NSW by 2050, with some areas up to 460%. The aim of the memory clinic will be to diagnose people with dementia earlier so that strategies can be implemented to delay deterioration or possibly prevent it in some cases. Planning is key for dementia, and by implementing strategies earlier, the memory clinic will reduce unnecessary and lengthy hospital admissions, crisis visits to GPs, and improve the quality of life for people with the early signs of dementia and their families. You can read more about the initiative here and watch the interviews below.
MANAGING DEMENTIA: THE PRACTICALITIES FOR GPS
On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, Dr Steiner presented at a Continuing Professional Development (CPD)-accredited event for General Practitioners (GPs) with clinical collaborators Dr Mark Hohenberg (geriatrician and Clinical Dean of the Macarthur Clinical School), Bernadette Pringle (Aged Care Services Emergency Team Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC)), and Bernadette Shepherd (Aged Care CNC) on behalf of South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN). Over 20 GPs attended to learn about the practicalities of managing dementia and mild cognitive impairment in the community.
You can view the flyer for the event here.
LEAD, ORGANISING COMMITTEE: ASP2017
Dr Steiner is very excited to be leading the organising committee of the 27th Annual Conference for the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology (ASP2017). ASP is the premier society for psychophysiologists across Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. The annual conference is always a highlight of the year, with presentations on a broad range of topics relevant to the study of the interrelations between psychology and physiology. ASP2017 will be hosted by Western Sydney University at the brand new Parramatta City campus (1PSQ). Several prestigious keynotes have been confirmed, and the conference website can be viewed here.
COMMUNITY PRESENTATION TO VIETNAMESE ELDERS
On April 7, 2017, Dr Steiner presented a talk titled “What is dementia?” to over 200 seniors in the Vietnamese community at the NSW Vietnamese Elderly Friendship Association in Canley Vale. Dr Steiner’s talk covered information about different types of dementia, available treatments and prevention strategies, and ways to live well with dementia. The talk was organised and sponsored by Anglicare and translated into Vietnamese by an interpreter.
PRESENTATION AT CAMPBELLTOWN HOSPITAL
Dr Steiner was invited to give a presentation on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) for the Geriatric Grand Rounds at Campbelltown Hospital on March 31, 2017. MCI is thought to represent the early signs of dementia. People with MCI are starting to show problems with their memory and thinking that might be similar to what you would expect in the early clinical stages of dementia, but without any major impairments in their day-to-day functioning. In Dr Steiner’s talk titled “Mild Cognitive Impairment: Current research perspectives on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment”, she highlighted our current understanding of MCI, new directions in which the field is headed, and current research projects being conducted by NICM and HEADBOX Lab. The talk was filmed and will be made available for viewing online in the near future.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: MAGDALENE CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
Dr Steiner visited Magdalene Catholic High School‘s vibrant year 12 Society and Culture class to discuss the different research approaches that could be taken for the students’ personal interest projects (PIPs). The PIPs form a large part of the year 12’s assessment component for their high school certificate (HSC). Dr Steiner received many interesting questions from these bright young minds about research project design, research ethics, and strategies for dealing with conflicting results and large quantities of data. You can read more about Dr Steiner’s visit in School News Letter here.
ALZHEIMER’S AUSTRALIA 2017 MEMORY WALK & JOG
Dr Steiner, colleagues and friends raised nearly $1,000 in funds to help support dementia services across the Illawarra and Western Sydney. During February 2017, Dr Steiner and two teams walked in memory of loved ones in both the Western Sydney and Illawarra Alzheimer’s Australia Memory Walk & Jog events. If you would like to make a donation to help support these vital services, you can still do so here.
NEW BOOK CHAPTER
Dr Steiner and colleague Dr Danielle Mathersul (Stanford University, USA) together wrote a book chapter titled “Cognitive Anxiolytics”, highlighting the evidence-base for herbal medicines that have been shown to have cognitive enhancing and anti-anxiety properties. The chapter was published in the book Evidence-based herbal and nutritional treatments for anxiety in psychiatric disorders, edited by Dr Dave Camfield, Dr Erica McIntyre, and Prof Jerome Sarris early in 2017. The chapter is available on the publisher’s website here.
MEMORY CLINIC PARTNERSHIP GRANT SUCCESS
A new and exciting research project led by Dr Steiner titled “Revolutionising dementia care in South Western Sydney: Local requirements for a multidisciplinary memory clinic” was recently successful in gaining $20,005.49 partnership funding from South Western Sydney Primary Health Network and Western Sydney University’s NICM and School of Science and Health. In a new innovative project, Dr Steiner and clinician colleagues Dr Mark Hohenberg (geriatrician), Dr Carolyn Ee (GP), and Dr Kawaljit Singh (geriatrician), together with EPIC Research Group Dr Kate McBride, Dr Freya MacMillan, Dr Emma George, and Dr Amit Arora will seek input from primary care, community health workers, consumers, and local dementia experts on the requirements for a new Memory Clinic soon to open in South Western Sydney. The study aims to refine the model of care for the new Memory Clinic, identify requirements for future resource development, and build a productive collaboration between Western Sydney University and South Western Sydney Primary Health Network. The project is due to start in April 2017.
SPECIAL ISSUE ON COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE FOR THE MODIFICATION OF RISK FACTORS FOR COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT
In February 2017, Dr Steiner and colleagues Dr Sai Wang Seto, Prof Yiu Wa Kwan, Dr Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, and Dr Dave Camfield published a special issue on complementary medicine for the modification of risk factors for cognitive impairment in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Nutraceutical and lifestyle medicines, including herbs, vitamins, supplements, physical activity, and diet have been shown to possess therapeutic properties that show promise in targeting some of the risk factors associated with cognitive decline, such as chronic inflammation, hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. This special issue featured a range of original research and review articles spanning preclinical and human studies that provide a snapshot of the developing evidence-base for complementary treatment strategies for cognitive decline. The editorial for this special issue can be reviewed here. You can download the full special issue here.
The main review article in this special issue, published by Dr Steiner and colleagues from Western Sydney and Swinburne Universities (Australia), Stanford University (USA), and Southern Medical University (China), systematically reviewed the evidence on the efficacy of nutritional and herbal therapies for dementia and mild cognitive impairment using neuroimaging methods. This paper makes an important contribution to this emerging field as neuroimaging techniques can provide an objective measure of changes in brain function and structure as a result of an intervention, in addition to highlighting their mechanisms of action in the brain. You can view the paper here.
ASP2016: 26TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY FOR PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY
Central Queensland University’s Appleton Institute in Adelaide was the home of ASP2016 on December 12 – 14, 2016. The annual conference is always a highlight of the year for psychophysiologists across the Asia-Pacific, and 2016 was no exception. ASP2016 saw a range of exciting presentations, posters, and keynote speakers on a diverse range of topics relevant to psychology and cognitive health. Dr Steiner presented a talk titled “Detecting target/nontarget differences in ERP components from a visual oddball task with separate PCAs: Young vs. older adults” that highlighted how older adults use different neurological strategies than young adults to maintain the same level of performance on a simple discrimination task. HEADBOX Lab Team Members Diana Karamacoska, Jack Fogarty, and Adele Cave also presented their latest findings from their work using electroencephalography (EEG).
WINNER: VICE CHANCELLOR’S AWARD
Dr Steiner was nominated by NICM director Prof Alan Bensoussan for a Western Sydney University Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award. The awards were announced on December 6, 2016, and Dr Steiner was successfully awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence as an Early Career Researcher Award. The award came with a trophy, certificate, and $4,000 prize. EPIC Research Group friend and colleague Dr Amit Arora was highly commended for the same award category. You can read more about the 2016 VC’s Awards here.
COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE FOR DEMENTIA: THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UNKNOWN
Anglicare run a regular carers’ information day at Myrtle Cottage, Ingleburn. At the session on Thursday November 17, Dr Steiner gave a presentation on the scientific evidence on the efficacy of complementary therapies for dementia. Around 30 people were in the audience, including people with dementia, their carers, and Myrtle Cottage staff. Dr Steiner’s presentation discussed some of the latest research findings from work she and her team have been conducting on the types of complementary therapies people with dementia in Australia are using. You can view and download the flyer here.
VISIT TO CHINA: AUSTRALIA-CHINA YOUNG SCIENTISTS EXCHANGE PROGRAME
Dr Steiner visited colleagues in China between October 30 and November 12 as part of the 2016 Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program (YSEP). This 2 week program is funded by the Australia-China science fund and aims to foster research collaboration between the two countries. Dr Steiner was one of 16 Australian scientists to be offered this award. Dr Steiner visited Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM), the Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences at Xiyuan hospital in Beijing, and Southern Medical University in Guangzhou. The trip has already resulted in research collaboration, with a publication on fMRI and hypertension already underway with colleagues from Southern Medical University.
You can view photos and posts from Dr Steiner’s trip on her Twitter feed.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH: ILLAWARRA RETIREMENT TRUST
On Thursday October 20, 2016, Dr Emma George, Dr Genevieve Steiner, and PhD candidate Mrs Adele Cave gave a presentation titled “What’s the latest on healthy ageing?” at the Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) Links Seaside. The presentation covered the latest evidence on healthy brain ageing, including data that Dr Steiner and her team have published from residents at the IRT Links Seaside, pragmatic strategies and activities that promote healthy ageing, and opportunities to participate in upcoming research projects. The presentation was well-received, and will be delivered again soon to residents and staff at other IRT sites. You can view the flyer here.
Photo (left to right): Dr Emma George and Dr Genevieve Steiner outside the IRT Links Seaside.
PINT OF SCIENCE: SOCIAL MEDIA CURATOR
Dr Steiner was the national social media curator for Pint of Science Australia from September 18 – 24, 2016. Pint of Science is an international science communication festival that involves scientists talking about their research in pubs all over the world. Dr Steiner posted about her research all week on Pint of Science Australia’s social media accounts.
The November 2016 issue of Prevention Magazine features an interview with Dr Steiner titled “Delicious simple diets that boost your brain.” In her interview, Dr Steiner discussed the emerging evidence on the cognitive benefits of eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables, fish, and olive oil. Prevention Magazine has a circulation of approximately 46,000 and a readership of 132,000.
VISIT TO MAYO CLINIC ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE RESEARCH CENTER
On September 6 – 8, 2016, Dr Steiner visited the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Dr Steiner met with Drs Ron Petersen, David Knopman, Kejal Kantarci, Jonathon Graff-Radford, David Jones, Michelle Mielke, Mary Machulda, Jessica Jung, Hugo Botha, and Mary Widmeyer to discuss their clinical practice and research in the ADRC and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. The team at the Mayo Clinic are conducting world-leading research into ageing and dementia, and Dr Steiner was able to view the Mayo in action by observing patients at the behavioural neurology clinic, research participation in the ADRC, an ADRC consensus meeting, and a pathology meeting. Dr Steiner found her visit to the Mayo Clinic extremely stimulating, and discussed collaboration opportunities for conducting a project at the Center for Advanced Imaging Research in 2018.
IOP2016: 18TH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY WORLD CONGRESS
This year, Havana, Cuba was the home the biennial world congress of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (IOP). There was an excellent scientific programme at IOP2016 across 5 days from August 31 to September 4. Dr Steiner gave a talk on Applying the Go/NoGo processing schema to a visual oddball task in older adults in a symposium titled EEG and ERP determinants and correlates of cognitive processing in Go/NoGo paradigms. I: Understanding ERP components and behaviour. Dr Steiner’s work showed that a well-established model of cognitive processing can be applied in a visual oddball talk in older adults. In addition, despite performing comparably to young adults, older adults show differences in their brain activity corresponding with novelty processing and response execution and control. This suggests that older adults are recruiting a different range of neural networks and processes in order to maintain task performance with age.
Photo (left to right): Dr Danielle Mathersul, Mr Jack Fogarty, Ms Diana Karamacoska, Dr Genevieve Steiner, Ms Frances De Blasio, Dr Sarah Loughran, Dr Anna Dalecki.
AUSTRALIA-CHINA YOUNG SCIENTISTS EXCHANGE PROGRAM AWARD
Dr Steiner was successful with her application for an Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program award. This is a fantastic opportunity administered by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), and involves an exciting 2 week exchange to 3 different institutions in China. In November, Dr Steiner will visit Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing and the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Dr Steiner will be exploring advanced neuroimaging techniques applied in Chinese medicine research involving people with dementia, analytical pharmacokinetic techniques used in herbal medicine research, and methods for critically appraising Chinese medicine research.
SYDNEY SCIENCE FESTIVAL: SPEED MEET A GEEK
For the second year in a row, Dr Steiner participated in “Speed Meet a Geek” at the opening night of Sydney Science Festival at the Powerhouse Museum. There was great interest from the wider public about current research on diagnosing and treating dementia, the use of complementary therapies, and what can be done to reduce the risk of dementia.
This event was on Thursday, August 11, 2016.
NEW RESEARCH PROJECT
Dr Steiner and researchers at Australia’s National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) are trying to learn more about complementary medicine use by people with dementia. At the moment, there is very little research evidence on the types of complementary therapies that people with dementia are using, the reasons for use, and the impact that has on quality of life. If you are interested in participating in an interview or focus group via phone, the internet, or in-person, then please download and read the Research Study Flyer and Participant Information Sheet. To say thank you for your time, you will go in to the draw to win a $150 Coles voucher!
For further information or to book your interview or focus group, please contact:
Ms Camilla Townsend
Phone: 0413 061 192 (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are best)
Dr Steiner’s latest publication Reinstating the Novelty P3 was published in the Nature publishing group’s journal Scientific Reports (Impact Factor: 5.228) on August 11, 2016. This paper is an important contribution to the literature presenting 3 experiments that together argue for the reinstatement of the Novelty P3, a sub-component of the P3 complex, in the P3 “family” following the P3a and P3b. Novelty P3 has been used interchangeably with P3a in the literature for the past 15 years. This study shows that the Novelty P3 is a distinct component, separate from the P3a, arguing for it uptake as a cortical index of the orienting reflex.
You can download the publication here.
EARLY CAREER RESEARCH AWARD
Dr Steiner was awarded the Early Career Research Award at the Inaugural School of Science and Health Awards Night on Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Dr Steiner was nominated for the award by NICM director Prof Alan Bensoussan, and was this year’s successful nominee. Dr Steiner was acknowledged for her outstanding contribution as an early researcher, which at the time of the award (1 year post PhD graduation), involved over $800,000 in competitive grant funding, 18 journal article publications, 2 invited book chapters, and more than 30 published conference abstracts presented at international and national conferences.
Photo (from left to right): Dr Amit Arora (School of Science and Health Research Breakthrough Award Winner and EPIC Research Group member), Dr Genevieve Steiner, Dr Emma George (EPIC Research Group member), and Prof Gregory Kolt (Dean, School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University).
Dr Steiner and the team at NICM and the Cardiac Health Institute’s latest paper details the results from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Ganoderma lucidum, a traditional Chinese medicinal mushroom, for cardiovascular risk factors of metabolic syndrome. The clinical trial produced negative results, showing that Ganoderma lucidum was no more effective than placebo on the primary and secondary outcome measures, including HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose. The findings were published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports on August 11, 2016.
You can download the paper here.
TAI CHI AT ALZHEIMER’S AUSTRALIA NSW
Tai Chi has been shown to reduce falls and improve cognition in healthy older adults. Tai Chi may also be beneficial for people with dementia, given that is has social, cognitive, meditative, and physical activity components, all of which are associated with a reduced risk of dementia. Dr Steiner and colleagues are interested in testing this hypothesis, and recently visited (August 1, 2016) Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, who regularly run a Tai Chi class for people with dementia and their carers, in order to gain a better understanding of the requirements for such a research study. Dr Steiner would like to say a big thank you to all of the regular participants in the weekly Tai Chi class for welcoming her into their activity, their feedback on the proposed Tai Chi research study, and of course for afternoon tea and their interest in Dr Steiner’s research.
June has been a busy month, with Dr Steiner publishing another paper: Sequential Processing and the Matching-Stimulus Interval Effect in ERP Components: An Exploration of the Mechanism Using Multiple Regression.
When a series of stimuli are presented in a three-tone oddball task, there are often unintended differences in the timing between target stimuli presented in the stimulus sequence. This paper showed that these timing-differences affect the brain’s response to salient and novel stimuli, and the purpose of the paper was to highlight the mechanism contributing to these effects. It was concluded that patterns of activation within a range of diffuse neuronal generators could be related to memory-updating processes or a refractory period effect within a range of brain networks that connect sensory and perceptual registries to more complex cognitive functions.
Dr Steiner’s latest paper titled Electrophysiology of memory-updating differs with age was published in Frontiers Aging Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 4.348) on June 16, 2016. This paper examines differences between young and older adults in the way that the brain encodes information in working memory. It was found that even though older adults performed the cognitive task comparably to young adults, there were distinct differences in brain activity suggesting that older adults employ neuronal compensatory strategies to maintain task performance. Dr Steiner and colleagues would like to thank the Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) and the management of IRT Links Seaside for allowing access to their facilities to run this study, and encouraging resident participation.
You can download Dr Steiner’s new publication here.
EPIC RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP GRANT
The EPIC Research Group from the School of Science and Health at Western Sydney University were successful in being awarded a Research Partnership grant for a mixed-methods project: “Increasing breast screening participation among obese women and women with type 2 diabetes in Western Sydney.” The Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest) and School of Science and Health will provide matched funds (total $19,702.52) to Drs McBride, MacMillan, George, and Steiner to explore the barriers and facilitators to breast screening participation by women with non-communicable diseases in Greater Western Sydney. Findings will inform future interventions to increase participation in breast screening by women who are at risk of post-menopausal breast cancer.
RESEARCH SEED GRANT
Dr Steiner and a team of investigators from NICM and the School of Science and Health at Western Sydney University were successful in being awarded a Research Seed grant for a qualitative study titled “The what, how and why of complementary medicine use by Australians living with dementia.” This project will investigate the reasons that people living with dementia and their carers use complementary therapies. Ethics approval for this study is currently being sought.
NHMRC NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR DEMENTIA RESEARCH AUSTRALIAN DEMENTIA FORUM
Dr Steiner recently presented at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) Australian Dementia Forum at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane Australia on 1-3 May, 2016. The Australian Dementia Forum brought together the present and future leading dementia researchers in Australia, including the NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellows, for 3 days of research presentations, perspectives and networking opportunities.
Dr Steiner presented both a poster and talk, and was awarded Best Presenter NHRMC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellows for her oral presentation on her fellowship project.
The abstract booklet can be viewed online here.
ADI2016: 31ST ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE INTERNATIONAL
Dr Steiner presented at the ADI2016 conference in Budapest, Hungary. The annual ADI conference brings together researchers, clinicians, carers, people living with dementia, and volunteers from all over the world. More than 780 people from 71 different countries attended this year’s ADI conference in Budapest. Dr Steiner presented some preliminary findings on early differences in brain activity in people who have a gene that reduces their risk of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.
The conference was on 21-24 April, 2016, and the scientific programme is available here.
ALZHEIMER’S AUSTRALIA NSW MEMORY WALK
On February 28, 2015 Dr Steiner and a small team completed the Illawarra Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Memory Walk & Jog. The team raised almost $1,000 for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, which will go towards improving services for people living with dementia and their carers in the Illawarra region.
If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.
INVITED TALK: SHIRE HEALTH NETWORKING AFTERNOON
Dr Steiner was invited to present at a networking afternoon held at BPS Tensegrity, Caringbah. This event was designed to bring together medical and allied health professionals in South Sydney and provide evidence on current perspectives in health care. Dr Steiner presented on Integrative Medicine for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia.
The event was on 2:00pm, Saturday February 20, 2016. For more information, you can download the flyer here.
Dr Steiner has a new journal article published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine titled the effect of Sailuotong (SLT) on neurocognitive and cardiovascular function in healthy adults: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled crossover pilot trial. This paper reports the effects of 1 week’s treatment with a standardised herbal medicine formula (SLT) on cognition, the brain’s electrical activity, and cardiovascular function in adults, compared to placebo. SLT has been developed by NICM and the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and is currently being used in a large Phase III clinical trial to treat vascular dementia. It consists of ginseng, ginkgo, and saffron.
The paper was published on January 13, 2016, and is an open access article so it can be downloaded freely here.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Dr Steiner is the lead guest editor on an upcoming special issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine on Complementary Medicine for the Modification of Risk Factors for Cognitive Impairment.
Manuscripts are due by Friday, June 3, 2016.
For more information on this special issue and on how to submit a manuscript, visit the publisher’s website.
BIOCEUTICALS SCHOLARSHIP IN COGNITIVE HEALTH
Dr Steiner will be supervising a new PhD student at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) who will examine whether a nutritional supplement can improve cognition in people with subjective cognitive complaints.
Applications close May 17, 2016.
For more information on the project, visit the NICM website.
ASP2015: AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY FOR PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The 25th annual conference of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology was hosted by the University of Newcastle at their brand new Sydney CBD Campus. Dr Steiner presented on the effects of a genotype thought to influence neural excitability on the resting electrical activity of the brain in her talk titled KIBRA rs17070145 polymorphism and resting EEG spectral activity: Biomarkers for reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The conference was on Wednesday-Friday, December 2-4, 2015. You can view the conference website here.
DESIGNING FOR LEARNING SHOWCASE: ENGAGEMENT UNLIMITED
Dr Steiner presented on engagement strategies for fully online undergraduate units in her talk titled How engaged are you? The art of engagement in fully online units at the Western Sydney University 2015 Designing for Learning Showcase. Hundreds of delegates attended and the event was a great success. Dr Steiner also chaired the morning session in the Auditorium.
This event was on Thursday, December 3, 2015, and the program is available here.
You can watch a video highlighting staff perspectives on engagement strategies for online learning and teaching created by Dr Steiner that she played during her presentation below.
The video below highlights the 2015 achievements of the Central Blended Learning Team. Dr Steiner features at the Designing for Learning Showcase around 04:00.
NICM SYMPOSIUM ON INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE FOR NEUROCOGNITION AND DEMENTIA
Dr Steiner was one of the key organisers of this event, where over 130 leading researchers, clinicians and industry group members from Australia and China discussed key challenges and issues relating to integrative medicine research and integrative care for dementia and associated cognitive difficulties and mental health issues. Dr Steiner gave a presentation on Chinese Herbal Medicine for Mild Cognitive Impairment.
The Symposium was at the ParkRoyal Darling Harbour on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. You can download the program from the NICM website.
The December 2015 issue of Prevention Magazine features an interview with Dr Steiner about how to “Boost Your Brain Naturally.” Prevention Magazine has a circulation of approximately 46,000 and a readership of 132,000.
AWARDED NHMRC-ARC DEMENTIA RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIP
Dr Steiner has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) Dementia Research Development Fellowship valued at $574,644. Dr Steiner’s project titled An investigation into the neural substrates of cognitive deficits in Mild Cognitive Impairment, and the mechanisms of action of a novel treatment will search for electrophysiological biomarkers of early Alzheimer’s disease, whilst examining whether a herbal medicine formula could be used as a possible treatment.
For more information, and to read the media release, visit the NICM website.
At the opening night of the Sydney Science Festival at the PowerHouse Museum, Dr Steiner was one of the “geeks” at this speed-dating event. There were lots of questions from the public on current treatments and our understanding of dementia, and complementary medicine research.
This event was on Wednesday, August 13, 2015.
CAN CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE HELP FIGHT DEMENTIA?
Dr Steiner explained what the National Institute of Complementary Medicine is doing to test if Chinese Herbal Medicine can offer an effective treatment for people living with dementia as part of the 2015 Inspiring Science series at Ultimo Library.
This event was on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Information is available via the City of Sydney website.
BRITISH COUNCIL AUSTRALIA FAMELAB NSW STATE FINALS
Dr Steiner competed in the FameLab NSW state finals run by the British Council Australia at the PowerHouse Museum and explained how a relatively cheap and effective technology that was invented in 1924 might be able to help us detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
This event was on Tuesday, 24 March, 2015, and the program is available here. You can watch the video submission for this competition below.