Psychiatry Grand Rounds 1/14 | Colm Cunningham, PhD

"At the interface of delirium and dementia: Using animal models to interrogate the impact of acute systemic inflammation on the brain"

Webinar ID: 981 8814 9739


Acute illness frequently triggers delirium and lasting cognitive decline. The pathophysiology of these phenomena is the subject of this presentation. I will explore, using data from models of systemic inflammation in animals with evolving neurodegenerative pathology, and using human validation studies, some possible mechanisms relevant to delirium and evolving dementia.


The activity is designed to help the learner:

  1. Describe basic mechanisms by which systemic inflammatory events communicate with the brain 

  2. Detail examples of animal model systems that illustrate the increased vulnerability of the degenerating brain to such systemic inflammatory events

  3. Outline, in broad terms, putative inflammatory and bioenergetic mechanisms for acute brain dysfunction during acute illness

About the Speaker:

Colm Cunningham, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in Trinity College Dublin. His main research interest is to develop and study animal models to understand the impact of inflammation, in particular systemic inflammation, on brain function and neurodegeneration. Dr. Cunningham trained for a Ph.D. in the neurochemistry laboratory of Dr. Keith Tipton in TCD before spending 8 years working with Prof. Hugh Perry's CNS inflammation group in the University of Southampton, where he first described microglial priming during chronic neurodegeneration. In 2006 and 2010 the Wellcome Trust awarded him Career Development and Senior Fellowships to establish and develop the first animal models of delirium during dementia in Trinity College Dublin.

The interaction between prior neurodegenerative pathology and superimposed secondary insults in delirium and long-term cognitive decline is now the major focus of his work and his lab is currently supported by the US National Institute of Aging (NIH) and Alzheimer's Research UK.


CME/CE credit for Psychiatry Grand Rounds is only available during the live feed time and for a brief time immediately following. The code for this week's session is displayed at the opening and closing of the meeting and also in the Chair's Office Zoom Account Name during the meeting.


For CME/CE information about this session, please visit:


January 14 Psychiatry Grand Rounds | Colm Cunningham, PhD


This talk is sponsored by the

Hollender Lecture Fund
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 

This educational activity received no commercial support.