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Science AMA Series: I’m Michael Hornberger, a professor of applied dementia research at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. My research is focused on spatial disorientation in dementia and how patients get lost. AMA!
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Hi reddit! My team’s research is focused on measuring spatial disorientation, i.e. getting lost in everyday environments, in dementia. To investigate these symptoms we use virtual reality and real-life tests with the patients, which demonstrates to us what makes patients get lost. We can then use this information to potentially predict which patients are at a high risk of getting lost. Getting lost is not trivial, as every year in the UK alone around 200 dementia patients die of exposure when lost. Investigating the causes of the symptoms and how we can treat them is therefore vital to guarantee the safety of our patients. I look forward to answering lots of interesting questions about dementia and spatial disorientation, including the causes, potential future treatments of the symptoms, and the work that my team is doing at UEA, during this AMA. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful questions today - it’s been a great first AMA experience for me! Unfortunately, I did not have the time to answer all your questions, however if you’re interested in learning more about my research, I hope you’ll consider watching a lecture that I’m giving in London next week. It will be streamed live to the UEA Alumni Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ueaalumni/videos/1253772841326955 Michael