The NUS Mind-Science Centre organised the Greater Good Series Dinner Dialogue on 21 November 2018 at Regent Hotel Singapore, presenting the Community Health Intergenerational (CHI) Study to distinguished guests, industry professionals and recurring donors.

CHI Study (Hannah)

Being the region’s first multi-disciplinary and intergenerational ageing research, the CHI study aims to holistically investigate the biological, psychological and social factors that affect the ageing process, with the ultimate goal of putting in place nation-wide interventions that can help the elderly age well within their own community.

Dinner commenced after the opening address by A/Prof John Wong, Centre Director for the NUS Mind-Science Centre and  the Lin Jo Yan and Yeo Boon Khim Professor in Mental Health and Neuroscience, who welcomed the esteemed guests, followed by a relaxing piano performance of Brahms Intermezzo in B Minor by Professor Bernard Lanskey, Dean of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at NUS.

Professor Bernard Lanskey performing the Brahms Intermezzo in B Minor.

Distinguished guests and donors enjoying the dinner and engaging in conversation

Professor Kua Ee Heok, Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience & Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychological Medicine, NUS

The presentations commenced after the main courses were served, and Professor Kua Ee Heok gave a warm welcome to the speakers and guests. Principal Investigator Associate Professor Rathi Mahendran then began with a brief introduction to the CHI Study, research aims and the various factors of the ageing process, followed by the three co-investigators of the study on their respective areas of expertise.

Principal Investigator A/Prof Rathi Mahendran giving an overview, aims and objectives of the study.

Professor Patrick Finbarr Allen, Dean of Dentistry & Director of the National University Centre for Oral Health, then introduced oral healthcare in the elderly population. Their team aims to assess the relationship between oral health status and general health status, dietary intake, cognitive functions and health related quality of life.

The anticipated impact of the study hopes to raise awareness about the impact of poor oral health in older adults, generate data and plan services for the aging population, and ultimately reduce the prevalence of oral disability in old age.
Co-Investigator Prof Patrick Finbarr Allen, Dean of Dentistry, NUS, Chair & Senior Consultant at University Dental Cluster
Prof Wang De Yun, Research Professor of Otolaryngology at NUS followed up with a brief introduction of Olfactory (smell) testing based on selected localised smells in Singapore.
Smell identification may be useful in identifying patients at risk of developing dementia. Prof Wang and his team has developed an olfactory screening tool to assess participants’ smell ability, and they eventually seek to correlate smell function with neurocognitive assessment outcomes in the elderly. The preliminary results were discussed and future research could potentially develop additional methods to test for neurodegnerative diseases.
Co-Investigator Prof Wang De Yun, Research Prof and Director of Research of Otolaryngology, NUS, on Olfactory (smell) testing and cognitive impairment.

Lastly, A/Prof Ling Lieng Hsi, Associate Professor at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Senior Cardiology Consultant at National University Heart Centre, provided insight on the significance of cardiovascular health in relation to cognitive impairment, cardiovascular imaging and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Co-Investigator A/Prof Ling Lieng Hsi, Associate Prof, Cardiology, and Senior Consultant, NUHCS.

The second part of the dinner dialogue gave focus to the Interventions of the study, presented by Dr Kim Jung Eun, A/Prof Shefaly Shorey, Dr Feng Lei & Dr Johnson Fam.

Dr Kim Jung Eun, Associate Professor at NUS Dept of Chemistry, Food Science and Technology.

Firstly, Assistant Professor Dr Kim Jung Eun touched on the impact of comprehensive dietary counselling in female older adults. A number of physiological indicators were used to provide scientific findings and indicate improvements, aiming to assist a practical guidance of dietary behavioral changes, promoting mental health and raising the quality of life in older adults in Singapore.

Assistant Prof Shefaly Shorey, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies at NUS.

Next, Assistant Prof Shefaly Shorey from the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies at NUS, gave an engaging talk on the “Where-there-is-no-psychiatrist” Study. She highlighted the existing issues encountered and the proposed intervention aims to reduce symptoms amongst older adults with subsyndromal depression and anxiety.

Assistant Professor Johnson Fam

Assistant Professor Johnson Fam gave an engaging talk on the motivating factors behind Volunteerism and its intangible effects on health.

Last but not least, Dr Feng Lei ended off the presentation with a video and findings from the choral singing study and its role in the prevention of cognitive decline. A partnership with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of music showed encouraging results from a focus group of participants, and could potentially be scaled up to benefit more community-dwelling seniors.

Dr Feng Lei, Research Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychological Medicine

The evening ended off on a sweet note with dessert and a short appreciation speech by Professor Kua Ee Heok to thank the guests for their invaluable attention and generous contributions to date.

About the NUS Greater Good Series

The NUS Greater Good Series aims to raise awareness on philanthropy and its impact on society. The series features talks by leading minds on topics related to philanthropy. These include generosity, giving and service to the community, as well as leadership, personal well being and mental resilience.

About NUS Mind Science Centre (MSC)

The NUS Mind Science Centre (MSC) is an academic research centre at the Department of Psychological Medicine under the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. The Centre aims to be a knowledge centre of excellence for psychological research, education and service with a non-drug approach. It will be unique in its distinctive Asian focus and combines the best tradition of Western scientific empiricism with Eastern philosophical thoughts.