Iracema is an Associate Professor in geriatric psychiatry at Trinity College, Dublin where she is a member of the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), a joint venture between Trinity College and the University of California, San Francisco. She is also a Consultant Psychiatrist at St. James’s Hospital, also in Dublin
She brings her clinical and research experience in dementia and older adult psychiatry to the GBHI, particularly the neuropsychiatry of neurodegenerative movement disorders such as Parkinson’s.
At GBHI, Iracema aims to develop closer ties with dementia programmes in LMICs, particularly South Asia, with a focus on capacity and capability building for pragmatic, clinically meaningful dementia research. In Ireland, she also hopes to build collaborations for clinical research for the LBDs, through a follow-on study of the INVEST programme. Iracema will also help develop and deliver the training curriculum through supporting the experience and rotations of the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in the Brain Health Programme.
Iracema’s clinical work is based at the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing in St James’s Hospital, where she works in the Memory Assessment Service. She intends to help expand services for people with complex forms of dementia, such as young onset dementia and the Lewy body dementias (LBDs).
Iracema developed and led the Greater Manchester clinical trials’ programme for dementia for several years as principal investigator (PI). Iracema is the Chief Investigator for EU-funded SENSE-Cog programme, a five-year comprehensive research programme involving 7 countries and 27 investigators. The aim of SENSE-Cog is to understand the links among hearing, vision and cognitive impairment in older people. One of SENSE-Cog’s projects is a trans-national RCT investigating whether hearing and vision enhancement improves outcomes for people with dementia.
Additionally, Iracema recently completed the world’s largest randomised control trial (RCT) of a non-pharmacological intervention (Cognitive Stimulation Therapy adapted for PD; PD-CST) for people with LBDs (the INVEST project). She is also building collaborations for dementia research in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India and is leading the ‘Research Roadmap for Dementia in Pakistan’ project, which is a model for lower and middle-income countries (LMIC).
Iracema undertook her basic medical and psychiatric training at the University of British Columbia, Canada, followed by a fellowship in the neuropsychiatry of neurodegenerative disorders at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She joined the faculty at Hopkins before moving to the UK in 2002. She undertook her doctorate (Neural Correlates of Disorders of Reward and Motivation in Parkinson’s disease) before taking up the post of Professor of Psychiatry in Ageing and Dementia at the University of Manchester.
More about Prof Iracema Leroi:
- Article: ‘Faculty – Our Stars: Inspiring stories to change your practice’
Professor Iracema Leroi: Seeking to instill hope and dignity in the field of dementia