Profile – Dr Ríona McArdle

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Dr Ríona McArdle

Job Title:

Research Associate

Place of work / study:

Newcastle University

Area of Research:

Applications of wearable technology and gait analysis for dementia diagnosis and care.

How is your research funded:

My PhD was funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, my post-doc is funded by Cure Parkinson’s trust.

Tell us a little about yourself:

My aim is to empower people with dementia to live independently for longer through better diagnosis and post-diagnostic care. I am passionate about engaging everyone with research and manage the World Young Leaders in Dementia’s blog. I’m the North Regional Co-Lead for the DEMON Network.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I collect vintage fashion, and am mostly likely to be found wearing something with shoulder pads.

Why did you choose to work in dementia:

I’m fascinated by how changes in our brain can lead to changes in behaviour and everyday functioning. This inspired me to begin a career in applied neuropsychology and neuroscience. My grandmother lived when dementia when I was a child, but I didn’t understand what was wrong with her at the time. When a PhD in dementia research came up, it gave me the perfect opportunity to mix my academic interests with my curiosity about my grandmother’s diagnosis. Working one-to-one with people with dementia during my PhD study changed my aims from understanding the brain to trying to make a positive difference for people living with dementia by improving diagnostic and care services.

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