Deadline: 2015-02-08
Value of Scholarship: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Level Of Study: Masters

MRes/PhD studentship: What can Gait Analysis tell us about Dementia and its subtypes? An integrated Study of Brain and Behaviour

Value, Duration and Start Date of the Award

A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a starting annual stipend of £15,000 with a start date of 21/09/2015 and end date of 20/09/2019 (MRes/PhD studentship).


Alzheimer’s Society Doctoral Training Centres

Project Description

Gait impairments and associated falls are common in dementia, potentially reducing mobility and increasing the problems of patients and carers. Gait and cognition are interrelated. Gait disturbance precedes cognitive decline and may differ between subtypes of dementia, and so gait could be a biomarker of dementia. We have extensive experience quantifying gait problems (in Parkinson’s disease and ageing) in our gait laboratory, and in the community using small portable devices.

We plan to extend these studies to dementia, encompassing subtypes (Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia and Dementia with Lewy bodies, plus controls). This project will assess if gait can: discriminate dementia sub-groups, examine the relationship of gait characteristics to cognition, and determine if real-world gait activity differs between subtypes. This study will characterise early stage dementia sub-groups and develop a simple, inexpensive home-based assessment method. This tool will enable a future longitudinal study to explore how gait can be used to predict disease progression.

The successful candidate will gain experience and skills in: cognitive testing; gait analysis; working with older adults and people with dementia; and reviewing scientific literature. They will also learn to manage a research project; publish their findings in peer reviewed scientific journals; present at national and international conferences; and participate in internal university events and use Microsoft Office, Matlab and statistical software packages.

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Name of the Supervisor(s)

Professor Lynn Rochester, Prof of Human Movement Service
Dr Brook Galna, Research Associate 
Professor Alan Thomas, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry

Person Specification and Eligibility Criteria

  • First Class / Upper Second honours science degree (awarded or expected)
  • EU Resident
  • Self-motivated
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • An interest in movement science and gait is advised but not essential

How to Apply

Applications must be made using the online application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed.

However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 4850F in the programme of study section
  • select ‘Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – Neuroscience’ as the programme of study
  • insert the studentship code IN083 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • attach a covering letter and  CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code IN083 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

Closing Date for Applications 

8th February 2015

Further Information

For further details, please contact:

Lynn Rochester PhD
Professor of Human Movement Science
Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing
Newcastle University
tel:  0191 208 1291 (direct line)

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